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.

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Neonatology: fetal and neonatal research
Department of Virology

Groenendaal, F., Casaer, A., Dijkman, K., Gavilanes, A., de Haan, T. R., ter Horst, H., … Zonnenberg, I. (2013). Introduction of hypothermia for neonates with perinatal asphyxia in the Netherlands and flanders and the dutch-flemish working group on neonatal neurology. Neonatology: fetal and neonatal research, 104(1), 15–21. doi:10.1159/000348823