Saving Newborn Lives: One cooling blanket at a time.

It’s not quite the ChiliPad, but the same concept behind the ChiliPad is used in hospitals to save newborns from brain damage.

Hold your breath and read this paragraph. One woman, Kalipay Acevedo, had a sudden placental abruption one month before her due date. This keeps oxygen and glucose from flowing into the baby’s brain, which leads to brain damage. The baby, Sianna Acevedo, couldn’t breathe for about 13 minutes. Take a deep breath. Assuming it took you 15 seconds to read that, imagine reading it 52 times before being able to breathe again. That’s how long Sianna was deprived of oxygen.

Now put your hand over your heart. An average adult’s heart beats at about 60-90 beats per minute. A newborn’s heart is expected to beat at 100-160 beats per minute. Baby Sianna’s heart was barely pumping at only 30 beats per minute.

Her life was on the line.

“I thought I lost her” said the mother.

They called in a priest to prepare for the worst.

As a final effort, she was quickly transferred by helicopter to the University of Florida. Neonatologist Dr.Weiss started a procedure called systematic hypothermia. Which is doctor slang for “put the baby on a cooling pad.” They cooled little baby Sianna’s body for 72 hours at 7 degrees below average body temperature.

(Photo by April Frawley-Birdwell/University of Florida)

Doctors are still looking for signs of brain damage, but none have appeared yet. Here’s the video so you can see for yourself how normal baby Sianna looks:

A very touching story indeed.



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