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Whole Body Cooling

Decreased oxygen and/or blood flow to the brain is a significant cause of brain injury in newborns. Two to three of every 1,000 near-term and term infants will suffer from oxygen deprivation at the time of birth.

Studies have shown that brain cooling may effectively reduce the severity of brain damage for oxygen-deprived newborns.

To help minimize the severity of oxygen or blood deprivation, we administer a treatment called therapeutic hypothermia, or whole body cooling. This procedure is done both in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and in our specially equipped neonatal transport vehicles under the supervision of a team of neonatal intensive care specialists.

For the best neurologic outcomes, cooling must be started shortly after birth. UC Irvine Health has the only neonatal transport service in Southern California with the ability to start temperature regulated active cooling as soon as the transport team arrives to treat the patient.

The Maternal-Neonatal Transport, the only such service in Orange County, is staffed by a multidisciplinary team of medical specialists who safely transfer critically ill newborns and expectant women experiencing complications to UC Irvine Medical Center. Our transport team serves Orange County and beyond.

After arrival at the medical center, mothers are assessed and treated by perinatologists, if necessary. Newborns are immediately transferred to the NICU.

UC Irvine Medical Center’s NICU is one of only two Level III NICUs in Orange County. We provide the only combined Level III perinatal and neonatal program in Orange County, which means we are fully equipped with the technology and specialists to manage the high-risk pregnancy or the at-risk fetus.

Our highly trained specialists are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. For maternal transport, call 714-456-6430. For neonatal transport, 714-456-6428.

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