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Early Hum Dev. 2009 Feb;85(2):73-6. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2008.11.006. Epub 2009 Jan 6.

Clinical aspects of induced hypothermia in full term neonates with perinatal asphyxia.

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  • 1Department of Neonatology, Perinatal Center, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital/University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.


Moderate hypothermia is a novel neuroprotective therapy for full term neonates with severe perinatal asphyxia. Although the therapy appears to be safe, admission to a level III neonatal intensive care unit of these patients is justified. Potential complications include hypotension, tube obstruction due to sticky secretions, severe bradycardia, and thrombocytopenia. Furthermore, doses of commonly used drugs such as sedatives, anticonvulsants and antibiotics should be adjusted during hypothermia and on rewarming, and should be monitored carefully. Further studies aiming at optimizing onset, duration, and depth of hypothermia in neonates are necessary. Combination of hypothermia with drugs may further improve neuroprotection in asphyxiated full term neonates.

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