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and critically ill newborns often have respiratory problems. The Children’s
Hospital at Saint Peter’s offers the most advanced technologies to treat them.
Our doctors use several lifesaving treatments for newborns. The Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Saint Peter’s was one of the first hospitals in New Jersey to evaluate
the use of surfactant therapy, which is now routinely used to treat breathing
problems in premature babies. Our NICU also uses state-of-the art technology
have witnessed tremendous advances in medicine’s ability to save the lives of
critically ill newborns. But until recently there was simply no treatment
available to stop the damage caused by asphyxia or lack of oxygen to the brain.Now
a new technique is giving newborns another chance at living a more normal life:
brain cooling. The Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) at The Children’s Hospital at
Saint Peter’s University
Hospital became one of
the first in the region to offer this procedure in 2011.
body temperature is already used during certain neurological and heart
procedures for adults. Now, two new international studies have demonstrated the
value of cooling the brain in newborns suffering with moderate or severe
called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE, the condition evolves over
several hours. The initial lack of oxygen and blood supply to the brain kicks
off a series of other events as the body tries to repair itself. The natural
approach is effective when HIE is mild, but in moderate to severe cases, the
body’s natural attempts could cause more brain damage.
too often, the result is long term developmental, physical and mental delays.
Many infants with HIE will face life-long struggles with cerebral palsy, mental
retardation, learning disabilities and vision or hearing impairments. Up to 60
percent of all newborns with HIE die. The cooling technique is designed to
minimize such outcomes. Using specialized equipment adapted to newborns,
neonatologists reduce the baby’s core body temperature over a period of 72
hours. Studies report a 16 to 27 percent drop in the number of deaths or severe
however is critical. In order for this to work, brain cooling must be initiated
with in six hours of delivery in infants with asphyxia. Asphyxia occurs both
before and during birth. Any baby who is at risk of, or suspected of suffering
moderate or severe asphyxia should be considered for immediate transfer to the
NICU at Saint Peter’s for evaluation.
baby must be at least 36 weeks gestation and must meet at least one of the
Apgar score ≤ 5 at 10 minutes
Continued need for resuscitation including intubation or mask ventilation at 10
minutes of life
Acidosis defined as pH ≤7.00 within 60 minutes of birth.
location/contact information: Phone: 732- 937-6048 (direct line to the NICU).
The Children's Hospital at Saint Peter's254 Easton Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
(732) 565-KIDS 
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