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Whole-body cooling in neonatal encephalopathy using phase changing material
  1. Sudhin Thayyil1,
  2. Seetha Shankaran2,
  3. Angie Wade3,
  4. Frances M Cowan4,
  5. Manju Ayer5,
  6. Karayapally Satheesan5,
  7. Ceebi Sreejith5,
  8. Hannah Eyles6,
  9. Andrew M Taylor7,
  10. Alan Bainbridge6,
  11. Ernest B Cady6,
  12. Nicola J Robertson1,
  13. David Price5,
  14. Guhan Balraj5
  1. 1Academic Neonatology, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Children's Hospital of Michigan and Hutzel Women's Hospital, Detroit, USA
  3. 3Department of Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Child Health, University College London, London, UK
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, Imperial College, London, UK
  5. 5Department of Neonatal Medicine, Institute of Maternal and Child Health, Calicut Medical College, Kerala, India
  6. 6Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  7. 7Centre for Cardiovascular Imaging, Institute of Cardiovascular Science, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Sudhin Thayyil, Academic Neonatology, Institute for Women's Health, University College London, 74 Huntley Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK; s.thayyil{at}

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Whole body cooling improves outcomes after neonatal encephalopathy (NE) in high-income countries1; however, effective low technology cooling devices suitable for use in low and middle-income countries (LMIC) is lacking.2 Although cooling using ice is effective in tertiary neonatal units, dangerous temperature fluctuations may occur if continuous temperature monitoring and nursing support is not available.2 Phase changing materials (PCM) are made of salt hydride, fatty acid, and esters or paraffin, and melt at a set point; in the process they can store or release large amounts of energy (figure 1). We examined the feasibility of administering whole body cooling using PCM.

Figure 1

Whole-body cooling by phase changing material. (A) Heat exchange in phase changing material (PCM). When in contact with a warm object, PCM (melting point 32°C) absorbs heat and slowly melts, thus reducing the …

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  • Contributors ST conceived the idea, designed the study along with SS, and GB, analysed the data, drafted the manuscript, and had the final responsibility for all aspects of the study. MA, KS and CS recruited the cases, collected data and performed neurological assessments. AW advised on randomisation and supervised the data analysis. All authors contributed towards manuscript development and approved the final draft for publication. The study is compliant with the TRUST (Transparent Research Audit System) guidelines for ensuring research quality and integrity.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Ethics Committee, University College London.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Clinical No NCT01138176