More than 100 children saved by whole body cooling technology gather for Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s largest Neuro-NICU reunion to-date
Event at Phoenix Children’s on Saturday, October 29, between 9 a.m. and Noon.
PHOENIX, Ariz. (October 26, 2011) Graduates of Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s whole body cooling therapy will celebrate their third annual reunion at the Hospital’s playground located at 1919 E. Thomas Road on Saturday, October 29, between 9 a.m. and Noon. More than 100 families who have benefited from the life-saving technology are expected to attend. The babies and children will be dressed in costume for the Halloween-themed festivities that will include a costume parade, trick-or-treating, and finger painting.
New statistics reveal the rate of cerebral palsy in this at-risk population of infants would be near 30 percent if there were no treatment options available. The whole-body cooling technology at Phoenix Children’s has decreased the risk to only 10 percent.
Phoenix Children’s is the only hospital in the state to offer this hypothermia therapy technology. Since 2008, Phoenix Children’s has saved 104 babies using the whole body cooling technique.
The whole body cooling technology is used when a newborn suffers from lack of oxygen before or during birth, a condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The condition can result in devastating disabilities such as dyslexia, cerebral palsy and other complications - even death. Hyporthermia therapies (whole body cooling) are used in adults after cardiac arrests and in newborn infants after birth asphyxia or lack of oxygen to improve survival and outcomes. It also allows physicians to conduct brain studies such as MRI’s and EEG’s while cooling is taking place to direct the appropriate treatment.
“Research is a critical piece of a Neuro-Newborn Intensive Care Unit (Neuro-NICU),” said Cristina Carballo, MD, Medical Director of the growing unit. “Pending funding, the next phase of research will look into using stem cells to eradicate cerebral palsy in this population of infants,” she added.
Only the second of its kind in the US, the Neuro-NICU, in collaboration with Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s, gives specialized care to infants who have suffered brain injury at birth. Whole-body hypothermic cooling prevents further neurologic injury, advanced bedside brain monitoring and specialized imaging. The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Phoenix Children’s Hospital is the largest NICU in the nation. Every year, more than 1,400 babies from Arizona and the Southwest are admitted to the unit and the NICU’s survival rate ranks among the highest in the nation.
MEDIA NOTE: This special event is not open to the public. To gain access to the Hospital call the media liaison, Joe Kester, at 602-463-3718.
About Phoenix Children’s Hospital
Phoenix Children’s Hospital, ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals, is Arizona’s only licensed children’s hospital, providing world-class care in more than 40 pediatric specialties to children from throughout the state and region. Phoenix Children’s is in the midst of a major expansion to meet the needs of the Southwest’s rapid population growth. The signature element of the expansion is a new 11-story, 750,000-square-foot tower which will enable the hospital to grow from 345 licensed beds today to a total of 626 licensed beds once the project is complete. The hospital’s expansion also includes an aggressive physician recruitment effort and new satellite centers in high growth areas of the Valley.