Body Cooling Treatment

Therapeutic hypothermia

Therapeutic hypothermia, also called whole body cooling, is a medical treatment for newborns who are under 6 hours old who have experienced a lack of oxygen or blood flow (hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, or HIE) to the brain and other organs before or during labor and delivery.

Therapeutic hypothermia lowers a newborn's normal body temperature of 98.6°F to about 92.3°F — and keeps this lower temperature stable for 72 hours. To reduce discomfort and shivering during hypothermia treatment, infants are provided low-dose pain medication. At the end of the treatment, your baby’s body will slowly be re-warmed back to 98.6°F.

Studies have shown that babies who were oxygen deprived around birth and treated with therapeutic hypothermia have a better chance of surviving without brain injury than babies who aren’t treated with therapeutic hypothermia.

Dr. Jeffrey Kaiser explains how whole body cooling can help newborns who have experienced a lack of oxygen or blood flow to the brain.