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Ill. hospital finds delayed newborn washing improves outcomes

Nurses at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., wait for 14 hours before washing the white, waxy film called vernix from newborns because it may protect infants from hypothermia and hypoglycemia and promote breastfeeding. Nurse Courtney Buss studied the policy, and found that after one month, the number of babies diagnosed with hypothermia decreased from 29% to 14%, rates of hypoglycemia dropped from 21% to 7% and breastfeeding rates increased from 51% to 71%.

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