Establishing a hypothermia service for infants with suspected hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2015 Apr;20(2):80-6. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2015.01.008. Epub 2015 Feb 12.


The translation of new treatments based upon established evidence into clinical practice is often difficult. The establishment of a therapeutic hypothermia (TH) service and a related cooling register would provide the opportunity to examine how a new therapy becomes implemented in a country or region. The objectives of a TH program should be: to provide guidance to clinicians who are considering the introduction of this new therapy; to ensure standardized clinical practices; to audit the implementation and conduct of TH; to provide surveillance for cooling-related adverse effects; and to evaluate the subsequent neurodevelopmental outcome. Prior to the use of TH, the most important practices to prioritize during its implementation should be identified and include the following: ensure timely identification of infants with neonatal encephalopathy; develop a coordinated system with the local or regional referral cooling center; develop a transport team capable of performing cooling during transport; ensure that each participating unit has access to a national encephalopathy register, and have developmental follow-up arrangements in place that are appropriate and uniform for the region/country.

Keywords: Cooling register; Guidelines; Neonatal encephalopathy; Therapeutic hypothermia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced*
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Registries