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Patient Perspective: Jacques' Story

Cooling Blanket Provides Lifesaving Treatment for Infant

Jacques was born in December of 2001 with his umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck, cutting off his blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain.  Luckily at the time, Seetha Shankaran, MD, division director of neonatal-perinatal medicine at DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan and  Hutzel Women’s Hospital, and distinguished professor of pediatrics at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, was heading up a research study in cooperation with 15 other hospitals across the country to determine whether cooling unresponsive newborns within hours of birth reduces their risk of death or disability.

Jacques was a perfect candidate for participation and became one of 34 infants involved in the study at the neonatal intensive care units (NICU) of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and Hutzel Women’s Hospital. He was immediately placed on a "cooling blanket," and water was circulated throughout the soft plastic covering with the temperature maintained by a computer at about 92 degrees.  The treatment relied on the same physical reactions to cold observed in hypothermia and drowning victims who have survived long periods without oxygen while immersed in cold water.

Jacques was cooled for three days before his body temperature was normalized at 98.6 degrees and stayed at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan for about two weeks. Each of the surviving babies was evaluated 18 to 22 months later, and Jacques was one of those who checked out perfectly.

Today, Jacques is an active 10 year old in the 4th grade who plays lots of hockey.





























Seetha Shankaran, MD
Director, Neonatal/Perinatal Medicine
Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics
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Main Story
Neonatal Breakthrough at DMC

Patient Perspective:
Jacques' Story
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Learn more about Neonatal Intensive Care
at DMC Children's Hospital of Michigan
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