Birth Stories

New Therapy used on oxygen deprived newborns

I was reading the paper the other day and saw that they did an article on induced hypothermia in infants, a a treatment used on babies that were oxygen deprived during delivery for up to 15 minutes. The article was done about Saint Davids downtown hospital where only eight babies so far have had this baby Luke was one of these babies. Luke had an extremely difficult delivery where he got stuck and then I ruptured (which is where the placenta comes apart from the uterus wall). October 30, 2008 Lucas Michael came into the world at 6 pounds 2 ounces and 21 inches long. Here is the story of Luke's journey after birth:

My husband and I signed the papers for Luke to be treated with a "cooling blanket" which induces hypothermia. They woke me up out of anesthia to have me sign the papers, and had I been more aware I might have not been so sure about signing them. But how do you say no when a doctor is telling you it might prevent brain damage? They made me stay 8 hours in a recovery room before I was able to see my little boy. My husband was able to take our family members up one by one to meet him. He came back and told me how beautiful he was and how he made eye contact with him right away. I have to admit that I was devasted that that moment where I was the first one to see my child, was taken away. Finally, after a slow 8 hours which I refused to sleep because I childishly thought no one would wake me when it was time to see him, I was wheeled to meet him. It was the most beautiful and terrifying sight I had ever seen. My adorable baby boy was cold and shivering on a green "cooling" blanket. They explained to me that by cooling his body temperature down it gave his brain an other organs time to recuperate from the hard delivery. He was on the blanket for 72 hours, and they estimated him to be in the NICU for three weeks, and every day and most nights I was by his side, his little fist clutching my finger. The day finally came where they slowly warmed him up, and as they did wonderful things happened. His little eyes opened and found me, he started moving around, and he cried! It was the best sound I had ever heard after he had been silent for three days. That night my husband and I got to give him his first bath, which he still hates to do to this day, feed him, and change diapers which even that was amazing to us. Three days after he got off the cooling blanket he was given a clean bill of health to go home. His brain activity was normal, his hearing perfect, and he took to eating easier than most babies do. I had talked them into letting me stay in a room until he was ready to go home. I came in with a baby and I was going to go home with one. Six days after his birth we loaded up in the car and left for home. Those six days were an emotional roller coaster for us, and it made me and my husband so much stronger. Luke is now five months old and advanced for his age. He figured out how to crawl, he has the sweetest laugh, and he already has a little attitude. We are so thankful everything worked out how it did and I hope that this treatment becomes more well-known so people know they have options to prevent brain damage


Our happy little boy.


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Re: New Therapy used on oxygen deprived newborns

  • I'm so happy for you.  Luke is absolutely adorable.  Thanks for letting us know about this treatment!
  • What an amazing story! I'm glad that everything is ok with your son. That is a very interesting treatment :)
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  • Wow!!! Congratulations! What an AWESOME story!
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  • Thanks for sharing! He is super cute.
    TTC since 8/2012

  • That is an incredible story!  Thank you for sharing it.
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  • Wow! thanks for sharing, this is really interesting. Glad your LO is doing well!
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  • Thanks for sharing your story!  I'm a NICU nurse and have seen induced hypothermia used 3 or 4 times.  It is truely an amazing thing.  The first time I saw it done was on a baby who was born in a park and basically dead when the EMTs got there (not breathing, no heart rate, etc).  They resicitated him and he was brought to the hospital.  The transport team kept him cool (he was probably never warm after delivery anyhow) and he was flown to us after he was stable.  Though he is developmentally behind in some areas, he did amazingly well, better than anyone ever dreamt.  I'm glad it worked for your son and that option was available to you.

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  • Thank you everyone for your kind words! And Carilyn thank you for sharing your story as a NICU nurse. We got through the experience only because of the NICU nurses at our hospital.
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