LGMC’s NICU Adds Cool Touch

4/20/2015

In a remarkable display of philanthropy, Lafayette General Foundation (LGF) worked with Kiwanis Club of Lafayette to acquire a critical piece of equipment for newborns. Through their combined efforts, Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC) is now able to purchase a Total Body Cooling system, one of only a handful in Louisiana.

Babies deprived of oxygen to the brain during complex deliveries are sometimes at risk for brain injury and poor neuro-development. Decreasing a baby’s core body temperature immediately after birth slows metabolic rate and brain activity, reducing the amount of energy the baby normally requires. This allows the newborn’s body to continue its development while limiting injury to the brain.

Another part of the system will include a Cerebral Function Monitor, manufactured by NATUS, which helps detect and measure seizures as well as the effectiveness of the cooling treatment. Babies born at LGMC who might benefit from total body cooling are currently flown to New Orleans to receive this treatment.

Once LGMC has its system in place, which includes always having pediatric neurologic support around the clock, the medical center is expected to draw even more neonatal transports from hospitals across South Louisiana.

“This is an important service to provide here in Acadiana since cooling should begin as soon as possible and no later than six hours of age,” stated Dave DeIulio, M.D., medical director of LGMC’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). “Since this is largely a neurologic problem, it is also important to have pediatric neurology support immediately available as well. I’m excited, as Acadiana’s leading not-for-profit community hospital, to be able to offer this service to other community hospitals in this region.”

The initiative started when members of the Kiwanis Club wanted to help. Lafayette General Foundation agreed to donate $2.75 for each dollar donated. Kiwanis Club raised over $12,500 specifically for the cooling blanket system and brain monitor while LGF provided the remaining funds from monies raised at the 2014 Foundation Gala.

“Having the Total Body Cooling system for asphyxiated newborns brings further innovation and technological investment to LGMC. That we can save parents from having to travel out of town to see their babies, perhaps for weeks at a time, is a great service to the entire community,” says Cian Robinson, LGF Executive Director. “I’d like to thank the Kiwanis Club for their incredible generosity and cooperation in making this life-saving endeavor become a reality.”

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