Johns Hopkins University Students Create Device That Could Help Avert Brain Damage in Infants  
3/22/2013 8:27:34 AM

When babies are deprived of oxygen before birth, brain damage and disorders such as cerebral palsy can occur. Extended cooling can prevent brain injuries, but this treatment is not always available in developing nations where advanced medical care is scare. To address this need, Johns Hopkins undergraduates have devised a low-cost, low-tech unit to provide protective cooling in the absence of modern hospital equipment. The device, called the Cooling Cure, aims to lower a newborn’s temperature by about 6 degrees Fahrenheit for three days, a treatment that has been shown to protect the child from brain damage if administered shortly after a loss of oxygen has occurred. Common causes of this deficiency are knotting of the umbilical cord or a problem with the mother’s placenta during a difficult birth. In developing regions, untrained delivery, anemia, and malnutrition during pregnancy can also contribute to oxygen deprivation.