Therapeutic hypothermia using gel packs for term neonates with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in resource-limited settings: a randomized controlled trial

J Trop Pediatr. 2012 Oct;58(5):382-8. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fms005. Epub 2012 Mar 6.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of therapeutic hypothermia (TH) using gel packs in reducing mortality and morbidity in term neonates with HIE and study the associated problems with TH.

Methods: Hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy babies were randomized into TH and control group. Babies in TH group were cooled for first 72 h of birth using cloth covered cooling gel packs to maintain target rectal temperature of 33-34°C. Infants were followed up to 6 months and were assessed using Baroda Developmental Screening Test.

Results: There were no significant differences in baseline parameters. TH group showed significant reduction in the combined rate of death or developmental delay at 6 months of age by 21% (8.1% in the TH group vs. 29% in the control, RR 0.28, 95% CI: 0.11-0.70; p = 0.003).

Conclusions: TH using gel packs reduces the risk of death or developmental delay at 6 months of age in infants with HIE.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / complications*
  • Body Temperature
  • Developmental Disabilities / complications
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced / adverse effects
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / complications
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / mortality
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy*
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Gels