Benefits of hypothermia for infants continue through early childhood
A treatment to reduce the body temperatures of infants who experience oxygen deficiency at birth has benefits into early childhood, according to a follow-up study by a National Institutes of Health research network.
Children who received the hypothermia treatment as infants were more likely to have survived to ages 6 and 7, when they were evaluated again, than were children who received routine care, the study found. They were no more likely than the routine care group to experience a physical or cognitive impairment, it said. The report appears in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"The findings show that the use of this cooling technique after birth increases the chances of survival, without increasing the risk of long-term disability," said senior author Rosemary D. Higgins, M.D., of the Pregnancy and Perinatology Branch of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
The study was conducted by Seetha Shankaran, M.D., of Wayne State University in Detroit, Dr. Higgins, and 25 other researchers in the NICHD Neonatal Research Network. In addition to NICHD, funding was also provided by the NIH's National Center for Research Resources and the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.
Infants born at term may fail to get enough oxygen, from blood loss or other birth complications. Oxygen deprivation during the birth process is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE. In severe cases of HIE, death rates can reach 50 percent. Survivors often sustain brain damage, which can result in cerebral palsy, cognitive impairment, or hearing and vision loss. Even if they do not experience detectable brain damage, children who experience HIE at birth are at higher risk for learning disabilities, language delays, and memory deficits. Severe oxygen deficiency at birth is also known as birth asphyxia.
The current study was in follow up to an earlier study, conducted when the children were newborns and had received the body cooling treatment shortly after birth. That earlier study found that infants who received the cooling treatment were less likely to die or to develop moderate or severe disability than were the infants who received routine care. The original study assessed children's movement and cognitive abilities, hearing, and vision when they were 18 to 22 months old.
The study authors noted that neonatal intensive care units around the world have adopted this cooling technique to reduce the risk of death and disability among full-term infants who show signs of the brain dysfunction indicating oxygen deficiency.
"Testing at 18 months can identify major delays in a toddler's growth or brain development, but can't identify some of the more subtle cognitive or physical impairments that might become apparent in an older child," Dr. Higgins said. "This follow-up study confirms the original finding, showing that children who received the cooling treatment were more likely to survive, and that the survivors were no more likely to have a disability than the children in the untreated group."
The 208 children in the study were diagnosed with HIE within 6 hours of birth and treated in newborn intensive care units in the network. They were given the usual intensive care or treated with the body cooling technique. With this technique, cool water circulates inside a waterproof blanket beneath the infant. The cool water reduces the infant's temperature as low as 91.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and maintains it there 72 hours, after which caregivers allow the infant's body temperature to return to a normal.
To conduct the current study, the researchers analyzed data from follow-up visits conducted when these infants had turned 6 or 7 years old. The researchers compared rates of death and disability among those who got the cooling therapy and those who had received the usual intensive care. Mortality rates reflected the number of children who died between birth and age 7. The study found a 28 percent mortality rate in the hypothermia group, compared with 44 percent rate in the usual care group.
The researchers calculated the number of deaths and cases of severe disability as a single combined outcome. In the cooling group, the combined rate was 41 percent, compared with 60 percent in the usual care group. Severe disability involved motor function, cognitive ability, and vision. Rates of cerebral palsy, blindness, and epilepsy were similar between the two groups.
"Before the advent of this cooling treatment in 2005, doctors couldn't treat HIE, and many infants died or sustained brain injury," Dr. Shankaran said. "It's reassuring to see that the benefits of this practice, which have been widely documented at 18 months or 2 years of age, are apparent as these children grow."
Journal reference: New England Journal of Medicine
- New groundbreaking treatment for oxygen-deprived newborns Aug 11, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Cooling treatments can reduce brain damage caused by birth asphyxia Sep 30, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Triplets with extremely low birth weight face high risks Mar 04, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Factors affecting survival, disability of extremely premature infants identified Apr 29, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Enzyme controlling cell death paves way for treatment of brain damage in newborns Oct 25, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
latitude & longitude & air pressure
1 hour ago Hi there, I have a peculiar question. Imagine that you are in a earth position, obtained by google, that gives you the latitude and longitude....
Differences of Classical Mechanics when learned with Calc vs algebra?
4 hours ago what are the differences? Every example I find usually has a derivative or integral or some kind of calculus defined concept that seems to make it...
what is the distance traveled
8 hours ago Hi. I have newly started to study mechanical physics. based on study, I conduct a simple experiment. But unfortunately i am unable apply the laws in...
Image of a Convex Lens Cut in Half Horizontally
12 hours ago Hello everyone, A friend of mine came up with this question in class and I really do not have a good answer. Suppose you have a convex lens...
Ray tracing throught optical system of thick lenses
12 hours ago Can you advise me a free software that allow to draw rays passed throught system of thick lenses (preferable in 3D)?
Faraday's law on circular wire
13 hours ago In my examples on Faraday's law in my book, they use a drawing of a magnet approaching a circular wire. The changing magnetic flux then induces an...
- More from Physics Forums - Classical Physics
More news stories
A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children, published in The Lancet, has revealed that iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children's mental development. The research raises concerns that t ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 21, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Nearly three out of four pregnant women experience constipation, diarrhea or other bowel disorders during their pregnancies, a Loyola University Medical Center study has found.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
New research indicates that women's reproductive function may be tied to their immune status. Previous studies have found this association in human males, but not females.
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 17, 2013 | not rated yet | 0 |
Elsevier today announced the publication of a recent study in Reproductive BioMedicine Online on 5-day old human blastocysts showing that those with an abnormal chromosomal composition can be identified by the rate at whic ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 16, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
While global attention has for decades been focused on reducing maternal mortality, population-based data on other causes of death among women of reproductive age has been virtually non-existent. A study conducted by researchers ...
Obstetrics & gynaecology May 14, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
Swiss scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria—and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.
8 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.
8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
In a series of lab experiments designed to unravel the workings of a key enzyme widely considered a possible trigger of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that in the most severe ...
7 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |