Neonatal Hypothermia

A Method to Provide Neuroprotection After Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Katherine M. Newnam, MS, RN, CPNP, NNP-BC; Donna L. DeLoach, MS, RN, CPNP, NNP-BC


NAINR. 2011;11(3):113-124. 

In This Article

The Role of aEEG After HIE

The placement of the aEEG to monitor brain electrical activity has been shown to be useful when determining inclusion criteria and for monitoring changes during the therapeutic course. As mentioned earlier, aEEG was instrumental in one of the earlier clinical trials and has been shown to be a predictor of mortality and morbidity of hypothermia treatment.[27] Used in the neonatal setting, the aEEG affords the clinician insight into the infant's response to intervention and potential outcomes. The aEEG provides an electrical measure of cortical state. It provides a continuous recording of background voltage cerebral activity, easily interpreted, and correlates well with degree of asphyxia as well as neurodevelopmental outcome. However, a disadvantage is that artifacts may be misinterpreted as seizure activity.[34] Artifacts may occur from handling the infant and high-frequency ventilation. Medications, such as phenobarbital, may also affect the background pattern.[35] It is important for the nurse to document interventions that would account for variations in the pattern, to afford a more accurate interpretation. Spitzmiller et al[34] point out that information gained from aEEG provides important data for "structuring communication and care plans between physicians and parents."[34]


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