Well constructed and carefully analysed trials of hypothermic neural rescue therapy for infants with neonatal encephalopathy have recently been reported. The data suggest that either selective head cooling or total body cooling reduces the combined chance of death or disability after birth asphyxia. However, as there are still unanswered questions about these treatments, many may still feel that further data are needed before health care policy can be changed to make cooling the standard of care for all babies with suspected birth asphyxia.
- aEEG, amplitude integrated EEG
- GMF, gross motor function
- ICE, Infant Cooling Evaluation
- MRC, Medical Research Council
- NICHD, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
- PDI, psychomotor developmental index
- brain cooling
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Competing interests: the authors are investigators or co-principal investigator in the CoolCap and TOBY trials, and have received funds to travel to meetings concerning hypothermia from the sponsors of the CoolCap trial and the National Institutes of Health which sponsors the NICHD trial
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