Hypoxic infants – More cooling isn’t better

For some reason, we think if a little is good then more has to be better. Over the years, we have slowly figured out that more isn’t necessarily better. Antibiotic treatment is probably the best example. A short course of perioperative antibiotics has clearly been shown to be better than long courses for routine prophylaxis. Hypothermia has been shown to be beneficial in hypoxic infants. Longer cooling does not appear to be beneficial.

From Health Day:

Longer and colder body cooling does not reduce the risk of death in newborns who have brain damage from a lack of oxygen, a new study finds.

The risk of death and disability in newborns with this condition — called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy — can be reduced by lowering their body temperature to 33.5 degrees Celsius (92.3 Fahrenheit) for 72 hours, experts say.

Research has shown that longer and deeper cooling protects the brains of animals, so this study examined if the same would be true in humans.

The study included 364 full-term newborns with moderate to severe hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy who received one of the following cooling treatments: 33.5 degrees C for 72 hours, 32 degrees C (89.6 F) for 72 hours, 33.5 degrees C for 120 hours, and 32 degrees C for 120 hours. (more…)



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