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Asphyxiated neonates who received active therapeutic hypothermia during transport had higher rates of hypocapnia than controls

Eniko Szakmar, Kata Kovacs, Unoke Meder, Geza Bokodi, Andras Szell, Zsolt Somogyvari, Attila J Szabo, Miklos Szabo, Agnes Jermendy
Acta Paediatrica 2018, 107 (11): 1902-1908

AIM: We investigated the association between active hypothermia and hypocapnia in neonates with moderate-to-severe hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) transported after birth.

METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of neonates with HIE born between 2007 and 2011 and transported to Semmelweis University, Hungary, for hypothermia treatment before and after we introduced active cooling during transport in 2009. Of these, 71 received intensive care plus controlled active hypothermia during transport, while the 46 controls just received standard intensive care. Incident hypocapnia was defined as a partial pressure of carbon-dioxide (pCO2 ) that decreased below 35 mm Hg during transport. Multivariable logistic regression investigated the relationship between hypothermia and incident hypocapnia.

RESULTS: Incident hypocapnia was more frequent in the actively cooled transport group (36.6%) than control group (17.4%; p = 0.025). pCO2 decreased from a median of 45 to 35 mm Hg (p < 0.0001) in the intervention group, but remained unchanged in the controls. After adjusting for confounders, hypothermia remained an independent risk factor for hypocapnia with an odds ratio (OR) of 4.23 and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) of 1.30-13.79. Sedation was associated with a reduction in OR of hypocapnia, at 0.35 (95% CI 0.12-0.98).

CONCLUSIONS: Hypothermia increased the risk of hypocapnia in neonates with HIE during transport.

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