A group of UK doctors managed to save a newborn by “freezing” the baby in order to slow down its heartbeat.
According to the Times of India, Claire Ives was 7 months pregnant when she realized that her unborn son had an irregularly fast heartbeat. Doctors delivered the baby via emergency cesarean at the University College London Hospital after they found that the baby had a heart rate of about 300 beats per minute (nearly twice the normal 160).
Doctors diagnosed the baby, named Eward, with supra ventricular tachycardia (SVT) and tried several methods to slow down the baby’s heartbeat. But when nothing worked they turned to a pioneering treatment: The doctors froze the baby.
According to ABC News, the doctors wrapped the baby in cold blankets in order to drop Edward’s body temperature and slow down his heart.
“It was horrible to see him lying there freezing in nothing but a nappy. He was heavily sedated so didn’t move much, and he was cold to touch – it looked like he was dead. All I wanted to do was scoop him up and give him a warm cuddle. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was saving his life.”
The doctors then slowly raised the baby’s temperature, a single degree at a time, for the next 12 hours. Doctors were eventually able to stabilize Edward’s heartbeat and, 10 days later, Claire was finally able to hold her son.
Ives said: “It’s made me appreciate all the small things about my children … It’s the best thing ever to bring him home.”