CALGARY — Newborns deprived of oxygen at birth will soon have improved chances of surviving without brain injuries thanks to a portable cooling blanket in southern Alberta.
Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary is one of the first care facilities in Canada to purchase the device, which is expected to be more reliable in keeping temperatures cool when babies are moved.
The usual treatment has been to simply turn off heat sources or use cold gel packs to lower infants' temperatures in an attempt to prevent brain damage.
A transportation cooling device at Alberta Children's Hospital. Newborns, who are deprived of oxygen can be placed inside the blanket for 72 hours as a way of preventing brain damage. (Photo: Bill Graveland/CP)
But those methods make it difficult to maintain a stable temperature.
The new insulated blanket with a cool liquid inside will be installed on a portable incubator cart that can be sent out with a care team anywhere in southern Alberta — either by ground or air.
The doctor who spearheaded the purchase of the device says there is usually only a six-hour window where action can be taken with a newborn to prevent neurological damage.
Also on HuffPost: