Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hypothermic Technique Being Tested To Treat Pediatric Head Injuries

Date:
October 4, 2007
Source:
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers are examining the effectiveness of induced hypothermia as a therapy for brain swelling in children who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries. Patients selected to receive hypothermia therapy will be cooled to between 32 and 33 degrees Celsius (89 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit), using special cooling blankets and/or cooled saline given intravenously. In addition to normal emergency care, they will remain cooled for 48 hours while being closely monitored in the intensive care unit.

Dr. Pam Okada is the local lead investigator of an $11.5 million multicenter clinical trial examining the effectiveness of induced hypothermia as a therapy for brain swelling in children who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries.
Credit: Image courtesy of UT Southwestern Medical Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center has been selected to take part in an $11.5 million multicenter clinical trial that is examining the effectiveness of induced hypothermia as a therapy for brain swelling in children who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries.

Related Articles


The 12 centers that are participating in the trial are expected to enroll a total of 340 children up to age 16 in the five-year trial, which is being funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a component of the National Institutes of Health. Children's Medical Center Dallas, which has a Level I pediatric trauma center, will serve as the local coordinating site. The study is being led by Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Pediatric patients who are eligible for the trial must have severe brain injury caused by blunt trauma. This excludes patients who have suffered injuries that penetrate the skull such as gunshot wounds.

Those patients selected to receive hypothermia therapy will be cooled to between 32 and 33 degrees Celsius (89 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit), using special cooling blankets and/or cooled saline given intravenously. In addition to normal emergency care, they will remain cooled for 48 hours while being closely monitored in the intensive care unit. Children will be tracked by researchers for one year to record outcomes, with a battery of tests being conducted at six and 12 months following the injury.

"Trauma is the leading cause of death and disability in children, more than all other causes combined," said Dr. Pam Okada, associate professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and lead investigator of the Dallas trial. "Previous studies have shown hypothermia is not only safe in children following severe traumatic brain injury, but may improve their chance of survival."

It had been thought that children had better outcomes than adults following traumatic brain injury, Dr. Okada said. In fact, it has been demonstrated that younger children (those younger than 4) actually have worse outcomes. Problems that develop with motor, behavior, learning, memory and other higher-level functions are common even in children with only "moderate" or "mild" concussions or injuries, she said.

"In head injuries where the skull remains intact there is little room for swelling," Dr. Okada said. "This causes diminished blood flow resulting in brain damage. Cooling the body may reduce the swelling and possibly prevent continuing damage. If this therapy proves effective, it would be a major breakthrough in the treatment of traumatic brain injuries."

According to federal and state laws, those who participate in a clinical research study must provide or, in the case of a child, have a guardian provide informed consent. Because of the nature of this trial and the fact that hypothermia must be induced within six hours of injury, it may be sometimes impossible to obtain consent at the time of brain injury.

For this reason, researchers are notifying the public that informed consent will be waived. Every attempt to contact family members to provide notification and obtain consent for continued participation will be made as soon as possible after enrollment.

Other major participants in the trial include: Davis Medical Center at the University of California, Davis; Miami Children's Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital at the University of Miami; Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center; Johns Hopkins University Hospital; Duke University; Long Island University; Semmes Murphy Clinic at the University of Tennessee; and Harborview Medical Center at the University of Washington.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by UT Southwestern Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Hypothermic Technique Being Tested To Treat Pediatric Head Injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003081909.htm>.
UT Southwestern Medical Center. (2007, October 4). Hypothermic Technique Being Tested To Treat Pediatric Head Injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003081909.htm
UT Southwestern Medical Center. "Hypothermic Technique Being Tested To Treat Pediatric Head Injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003081909.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins