Introduction of Hypothermia for Neonates with Perinatal Asphyxia in the Netherlands and Flanders

Floris Groenendaal*, Alexandra Casaer, Koen P. Dijkman, Antonio W. D. Gavilanes, Timo R. de Haan, Henk J. ter Horst, Sabine Laroche, Gunnar Naulaers, Monique Rijken, Henrica L. M. van Straaten, Katerina Steiner, Renate M. C. Swarte, Alexandra Zecic, Inge A. Zonnenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Therapeutic hypothermia was introduced in the Netherlands and Flanders, Belgium, in 2008. Since then, an increasing number of patients has been treated - up to 166 in 2010. Complications and outcome were registered in an online database. Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse complications and outcome after implementation. Methods: Data were retrieved from an online database to which all centres had contributed. Results: In 3 years, 332 patients were treated. Excluding 24 patients with congenital abnormalities or metabolic disorders, mortality was 31.8%. Of the 210 survivors without congenital malformations, 21 had cerebral palsy, another 19 a developmental delay of more than 3 months at the age of at least 24 months, and 2 had severe hearing loss. The total adverse outcome, combining death and adverse neurodevelopment, in 308 patients without congenital malformations is 45.5%, which is similar to that of the large trials. Conclusions: The introduction of therapeutic hypothermia for neonates with perinatal asphyxia in the Netherlands and Flanders has been rapid and successful, with results similar to findings in the randomised controlled trials.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Hypothermia
  • Perinatal asphyxia
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Neuroprotection
  • Introduction

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