Induced Hypothermia for Neonates With Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Authors

  • Melissa Long,

    1. Melissa Long, RN, MSN, NNP, is a neonatal nurse practitioner in the Intensive Care Nursery, Duke University Health System, Durham, NC.
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  • Debra H. Brandon

    Corresponding author
    1. Debra H. Brandon, RN, PhD, CCNS, is an associate professor in the Duke School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics at the Duke University Health System, Durham, NC.
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Address for correspondence: Debra H. Brandon, RN, PhD, CCNS, Duke School of Nursing and Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Health System, Box 3322, Durham, NC 27710. E-mail: debra.brandon@duke.edu.

Abstract

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy causes significant morbidity and mortality in neonates. Preventing the secondary reperfusion injury that occurs following a hypoxic-ischemic event is paramount to ensuring the best possible neurologic outcome for the neonate. Induced hypothermia is currently being studied in various institutions as a means of neuroprotection for neonates at risk of severe brain injury following a hypoxic-ischemic event. This article highlights the pathophysiology of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and the rationale behind the effectiveness of induced hypothermia. Nursing care and management of neonates being treated with induced hypothermia are discussed. JOGNN, 36, 293-298; 2007. DOI: 10.1111/J.1552-6909.2007.00150.x

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