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Researchers develop device to measures brain temperature non-invasively
Date:5/2/2011

larger than we expected," Dr. Bass said.

Dr. Bass, who pioneered research on cooling therapy for hypoxic newborns, and set about this research because he believed the therapy could be improved if doctors knew precise temperature of the damaged organ, the brain.

Hypoxic brain damage in infants occurs most often in full-term births when the child suffers oxygen loss either immediately before or during delivery. Because of a quirk in the brain, a child can be revived but brain cells continue to die over several days, resulting in brain damage or death. Doctors could do little to stop this progression; parents often watched helplessly as their sons and daughters literally died before their eyes.

Based on the observation that children rescued from freezing ponds after extended periods of time suffered little or no brain damage, cooling therapy involves chilling an infant's body to 92 degrees for 72 hours after brain injury.

A clinical trial on the therapy showed that cooling the child stops or reduces the progression of brain cell death, drastically reducing brain damage and death. The results were so positive that the therapy is now standard in advanced neonatal intensive-care units worldwide.

Cooling therapy is now used with other patients as well, including heart attack victims whose brains have suffered oxygen deprivation.

Because cooling therapy's success relies on the temperature of the brain, precise readings of the brain's temperature is likely to improve a therapy that's already proven remarkably effective.


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Contact: Greg Raver-Lampman
757-668-7554
Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters
Source:Eurekalert

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