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Kid's Health (Archive)
Our award-winning Kid's Health Magazine is designed to provide healthful information for your growing child. Please Note: Kid's Health Magazine is no longer being printed. Please visit our blog at http://www.choc.org/blog for the latest articles about your child's health from the experts at CHOC Children's. You can also receive our electronic Kid's Health newsletter in your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list: http://www.choc.org/subscribe

State-of-the-Art Technology at CHOC Gives Newborns a Second Chance

Almost every expectant mother is at least a little anxious about the birth of her baby. It’s natural to want an uncomplicated delivery and healthy child. Most births occur without problems. However, if complications arise, CHOC Children’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) offers state-of-the-art care, including a new, cool cap technology that’s giving newborns a miraculous second chance.

“Lack of oxygen and blood circulation to the brain during or just after birth is known as birth asphyxia,” explains Vijay Dhar, M.D., medical director of CHOC Children’s NICU. “Despite heroic efforts of neonatologists to resuscitate babies in these circumstances, sometimes damage to the brain can occur. Cool cap technology can reduce or eliminate brain damage in these infants.”

Birth asphyxia is an important cause of cerebral palsy—a condition that can permanently impair brain function involving movement, thinking and learning.

CHOC Children’s is one of 14 hospitals in the state and the only hospital in the county to offer cool cap technology. As many as three of every 1,000 births in the U.S. involve interrupted oxygen flow to the brain and may benefit from it.

Timing Critical to Reduce Brain Damage
In the first few hours following brain asphyxia, injury to brain cells continues to spread. The damage gets worse with time. In the past, there was no way to control it. Experts now know that cooling a baby’s brain decreases its metabolism, which helps reduce the spread of damage to other brain cells.

“To be effective, it’s critical that cool cap therapy begin within the first six hours after birth. The sooner it’s applied, the better,” says Dr. Dhar.

Cool Cap Technology at Work
The FDA-approved device is a soft, multi-layered cap that contains tubes of circulating water. Water runs from a cooling machine into the cap, which is fitted around the baby’s head. Using state-of-the-art monitoring technology, the cap lowers the temperature of the brain five degrees while maintaining body temperature. The brain is cooled for 72 hours.

“This technology can make a tremendous difference in the lives of children throughout our communities,” says Dr. Dhar. “We are proud to provide it.”

Count on CHOC Children's
To learn more about the lifesaving efforts of CHOC Children’s NICU, call 714-532-8540 or visit www.choc.org/nicu.


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chocChildren's Hospital of Orange County | UCI University of California, Irvine

Children's Hospital of Orange County is affiliated with UC Irvine Healthcare and UC Irvine School of Medicine

CHOC Children's - 1201 W La Veta Ave, Orange, CA. Phone: 714-997-3000. .