“Cool” New Technology In Use
It looks something like a bonnet on the outside. On the inside, it looks a cross between an ice pack and a river diorama. But don’t let its odd appearance fool you; this piece of equipment can help oxygen-deprived newborns avoid serious neurological complications — and it was paid for by generous donors like you.
The Cool-Cap, recently put into use in the neonatal intensive care unit at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, is the only FDA-approved treatment for babies who experience brain injuries after being deprived of oxygen during birth.
Such deprivation, where brain and spinal cord cells are damaged or killed, can lead to long-term neurological problems such as mental retardation, epilepsy and cerebral palsy.
The Cool-Cap gives the brain a chance to heal before those permanent problems
develop, said Geisinger Neonatology Director James Cook, MD.
“The Cool-Cap essentially slows down metabolism in the brain and allows the brain to get rid of toxins,” Dr. Cook said. “This enables the brain to focus all of its efforts toward repairing itself.”
The water-filled cap — purchased with $40,000 of Children’s Miracle Network funds — drops a baby’s head and body temperature to 34 degrees centigrade and maintains cooling for 72 hours to reduce brain swelling and inflammation.