Offered by only 28 hospitals in the country, the Olympic Cool-Cap System is a new technology that is used to prevent or reduce the severity of neurological injury in newborn infants.
Newborn infants who suffer from decreased blood flow and oxygen to the brain have traditionally had few treatment options, and as a result, faced serious disabilities or even death. Cerebral palsy affects about two of every 1,000 children born and often causes seizures and other cognitive problems.
According to a March article out of Dayton, Ohio, the FDA-approved Cool-Cap System is an innovation that treats at-risk infants by providing selective head cooling. Using a cooled, sealed water cap placed over the infant’s head, the Cool-Cap System maintains a precise state of hypothermia during a 72-hour treatment timeframe and then slowly re-warms the child for an additional four hours.
By cooling just the head, the risk of side effects from hypothermia is minimized because the temperature in the rest of the baby’s body is only slightly below normal.
This sounds like another positive step forward in the prevention and treatment of cerebral palsy. The hope is that more hospitals nationwide will start offering the Cool-Cap System.