Optimizing Therapeutic Hypothermia for Neonatal Encephalopathy

Section of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, Missouri
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 01/2013; 131(2). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2012-0891
Source: PubMed


Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) for neonatal encephalopathy is becoming widely available in clinical practice. The goal of this collaborative was to create and implement an evidence-based standard-of-care approach to neonatal encephalopathy, deliver consistent care, and optimize outcomes.

The quality improvement process identified and used the Model for Improvement as a framework for improvement efforts. This was a Vermont Oxford Network Collaborative focused on optimizing TH in the treatment of neonatal encephalopathy. By using an evidence-based approach, Potentially Better Practices were developed by the topic expert, modified by the collaborative, and implemented at each hospital. These included the following: timely identification of at-risk infants, coordination with referring hospitals to ensure TH was available within 6 hours after birth, staff education for both local and referring hospitals, nonsedated MRI, incorporating amplitude-integrated EEG into a TH protocol, and ensuring standard neurodevelopmental follow-up of infants. Each center used these practices to develop a matrix for implementation.

Local self-assessments directed the implementation and adaptation of the Potentially Better Practices at each center. Resources, based on common identified barriers, were developed and shared among the group.

The implementation of a TH program to improve the consistency of care for patients in NICUs is feasible using standard-quality improvement methodology. The successful introduction of new interventions such as TH to the NICU culture requires a collaborative multidisciplinary team, use of a systematic quality improvement process, and perseverance.

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    ABSTRACT: Introduction Newborns with perinatal indicators of a potential hypoxic-ischemic event require an integrated care in order to control the aggravating factors of brain damage, and the early identification of candidates for hypothermia treatment. Patients and methods The application of a prospective, populational program that organizes and systematizes medical care during the first 6 hours of life to all newborns over 35 weeks gestational age born with indicators of a perinatal hypoxic-ischemic insult. The program includes 12 hospitals (91,217 m2); two level i centers, five level ii centers, and five level iii hospitals. The program establishes four protocols: a) detection of the newborn with a potential hypoxic-ischemic insult, b) surveillance of the neurological repercussions and other organ involvement, c) control and treatment of complications, d) procedures and monitoring during transport. Results From June 2011 to June 2013, 213 of 32325 newborns above 35 weeks gestational age met the criteria of a potential hypoxic-ischemic insult (7.4/1000), with 92% of them being cared for following the program specifications. Moderate-severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy was diagnosed in 33 cases (1/1,000), and 31 out of the 33 received treatment with hypothermia (94%). Conclusions The program for the Integrated Care of Newborns with Perinatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Insult has led to providing a comprehensive care to the newborns with a suspected perinatal hypoxic-ischemic insult. Aggravators of brain damage have been controlled, and cases of moderate-severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy have been detected, allowing the start of hypothermia treatment within the first six hours of life. Populational programs are fundamental to reducing the mortality and morbidity of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.
    Anales de Pediatría 06/2014; 82(3). DOI:10.1016/j.anpedi.2014.05.006 · 0.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic hypothermia was first recommended as a standard of care by international guidelines in 2010. However, at that time, the number of centers capable of providing standard cooling was limited even in Japan. The aim of this project was to implement a nationwide network of evidence-based cooling within 3 years. A taskforce was formed in June 2010 to undergo the primary nationwide practice survey, design of action plans, and the appraisal of interventions by involving all registered level-II/III neonatal intensive care units in Japan. Based on findings from the primary survey, aggressive action plans were introduced that focused on the formulation of clinical recommendations, facilitation of educational events, and opening of an online case registry. Findings from the follow-up survey (January 2013) were compared with the results from the primary survey (June 2010). Four workshops and three consensus meetings were held to formulate clinical recommendations, which were followed by the publication of practical textbooks, large-scale education seminars, and implementation of a case registry. A follow-up survey covering 253 units (response rate: 89.1%) showed that cooling centers increased from 89 to 135. Twelve prefectures had no cooling centers in 2010, whereas all 47 prefectures had at least one in 2013. In cooling centers, adherence to the standard cooling protocols and the use of servo-controlled cooling devices improved from 20.7% to 94.7% and from 79.8% to 98.5%, respectively. A rapid improvement in the national provision of evidence-based cooling was achieved. International consensus guidelines coupled with domestic interventions might be effective in changing empirical approaches to evidence-based practice.
    09/2014; 4(4). DOI:10.1089/ther.2014.0015
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    ABSTRACT: Therapeutic hypothermia as a neuroprotective strategy in neonates is an established standard of care for infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in tertiary care neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). To maximize the neuroprotective effect in infants with HIE, hypothermia is initiated as soon as possible after birth. Many infants who would benefit from therapeutic hypothermia are not born at centers that have intensive care units or offer therapeutic hypothermia and are thus transported to a tertiary care center with a NICU, offering specialty services of therapeutic hypothermia and pediatric neurology. The neonatal transport team plays a significant role in the management of these critically ill infants. Clinical research provides data for safe and effective management of these infants during therapeutic hypothermia in the NICU; however, there are no evidence-based clinical guidelines for management before and during transport. The establishment of evidence-based guidelines for cooling before and during transport will facilitate early recognition of infants who would benefit from therapeutic hypothermia therapy, and decrease delay in initiation of therapy. Careful assessment, monitoring, and intervention by the transport team are critical to provide appropriate care and ensure safe transport of these infants.
    Advances in Neonatal Care 10/2014; 14 Suppl 5S:S24-S31. DOI:10.1097/ANC.0000000000000121 · 1.12 Impact Factor
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