Author(s): Chirinian N, Mann N
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Abstract Birth asphyxia can induce a cascade of reactions that result in altered brain function known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Possible outcomes for survivors of birth asphyxia vary widely, from a normal outcome to death, with a wide range of disabilities in between, including long-term neurodevelopmental disability, cerebral palsy, neuromotor delay, and developmental delay. Treatment of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy has centered on dampening or blocking the biochemical pathways that lead to death of neuronal cells. The reduction of body temperature by 3ºC to 5ºC less than normal body temperature can reduce cerebral injury. At Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, the goal of therapeutic hypothermia is to achieve a rectal temperature of 33ºC to 34ºC, and the protocol is started within 6 hours after birth. The hypothermia is maintained for 72 hours, and then the infant is gradually warmed to normal body temperature (36.8ºC-37ºC). The protocol and nursing implications are presented.
This article was published in Crit Care Nurse
and referenced in General Medicine: Open Access