Cooling Therapy for Newborns with Brain Injury
Newborns deprived of oxygen prior to or during delivery may now benefit from whole-body cooling and rewarming if therapy is delivered within the first six hours of life. Controlled whole-body cooling lowers body temperature, allowing a newborn's brain to heal from injury.
How it works:
- A newborn meeting established criteria and approved for therapy is placed in a cooling vest.
- Temperature-controlled water circulates through the vest, precisely managing the baby's temperature.
- Baby receives 72 hours of cooling therapy, followed by 36 hours of controlled rewarming and normothermia.
Baby is monitored for seizure and abnormal brain activity throughout the therapy. Other treatments and testing can still take place during this process.
While this therapy doesn't help all infants, it does offer newborns a chance at better outcomes. A neonatologist will discuss the benefits and risks with baby's parents prior to beginning therapy. The Lutheran Children's Hospital NICU is the first in northeastern Indiana to deliver this potentially life-changing care to the area's littlest patients.