Video Center

Pediatrics – Laurence Shaw, MD Video

Announcer: We go now to our reporter, Lora Windsor, who has a report on what are called cooling blankets.

Visual: Announcer is a male in a suit. He is at a news desk in front of a blue background with the title “American Health Journal” over a swirling globe.

Reporter: For every one thousand babies born, one or two will have brain injury because of lack of oxygen during the delivery. Placing the infant into a cooling blanket…

Visuals: In the background behind the reporter are rows of TV monitors playing various medical videos. The largest monitor has the title “Cooling Blanket” and includes clips of a NICU unit, another of a doctor’s hands smoothing over a cooling blanket and then of him placing a baby manikin on it.

Reporter (V.O.): …quickly reduces their body temperature to allow for healing. We spoke with Dr. Laurence Shaw at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California who describes how the cooling blanket functions.

Visuals: Two doctors talking in a hospital corridor; camera pans exterior of the hospital.

Laurence Shaw, MD: A cooling blanket is a method of treatment to assist infants who have had distress or difficulties before and during their delivery to have a better outcome.

Visual: Close-up of Dr. Shaw in a shirt and tie with stethoscope around his neck, being interviewed in a darkened studio. He is introduced with the title “Laurence Shaw, MD – Valley Presbyterian Hospital” in the lower-third.

Shaw (V.O.): What it is, it’s a way to take a baby’s core temperature down to about thirty-three degrees. It is cool to the touch but it’s higher than even room temperature. Our bodies are usually at somewhere around thirty-seven degrees Centigrade. We’re only going down four degrees Centigrade, which is about ten degrees Fahrenheit.

V.O. visuals: Shaw walking through doorway into unit and the camera follows him down the hallway past offices; Shaw inside the NICU talking to two healthcare workers who are attending to a baby.

Shaw: And maintain it there for three days while the baby’s body compensates for the acidosis and the metabolic problems that he has, and then we re-warm them and see what their…

Shaw (V.O.): …function is. The cooling blankets are used in the NICU’s, the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, to assist infants who have prenatal insults.

V.O. visuals: Close-up of Shaw talking with a nurse in the NICU; another wider angle, as the other two other healthcare workers watch from nearby.

Shaw: We have a team including a physician, respiratory therapist and nurses that work closely with the baby over the period of the cooling which is only three days in order to assist them, and after that then they’re…

Shaw (V.O.): …followed in a normal Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

V.O. visual: Close-up of Shaw reviewing patient charts with a nurse.

Reporter (V.O.): Dr. Shaw tells us how he determines who needs a cooling blanket.

V.O. visual: Continuation of Shaw reviewing patient charts with a nurse.

Shaw (V.O.): There are babies that are over thirty-six weeks…

V.O. visual: Continuation of Shaw reviewing patient charts with a nurse.

Shaw: …who, during their prenatal or delivery time, end up with low oxygen levels or low nutrient levels and they’re born…

Shaw (V.O.): …with what we call ischemic hypoxic encephalopathy. What it means is that the brain hasn’t gotten sufficient nutrients and oxygen…

V.O. visual: Shaw talking at nurse’s station with a nurse about patient charts.

Shaw: …in order to function and so the body is starting to break down. In babies it’s different than in adults because in a lot of those areas that need to keep developing new nerves for brain cells, for us to learn and everything, can be damaged and ultimately lost. This is a method of trying to preserve as much of that growth area so that they can have as much of a normal development, outcome and live successful lives.

Reporter (V.O.): According to Dr. Shaw, babies can tolerate the cold temperature of the cooling blanket.

V.O. visuals: Shaw in NICU with other healthcare-workers; Shaw at computer screen in hallway of unit near the nurse’s station.

Shaw (V.O.): They tolerate it really well. Their heart rates…

V.O. visual: Shaw behind the desk looking at computer.

Shaw: …do slow a little bit, kind of like someone in hibernation. They sometimes need to have assistance with breathing and of course, they need to get nutrition, which we can give them as well during that period of time. We just let their bodies kind of stay on pause.

Shaw: The blanket is filled with water. It comes from the machine. When we get the baby here, we’re going to put the baby onto the blanket and then we’ll start the control. It’s an auto-control, set the temperature that we want to go down to and then it will cycle over a period of two to four hours down to the temperature, which we can monitor here. We’re also going to put a temperature probe down into the baby so that we can monitor the baby’s inside temperature.

Visuals: Shaw is in the unit, demonstrating how the cooling blanket works by first placing a baby manikin on its back on the bed with a cooling blanket, then pressing buttons on the machine’s panel, gesturing to the equipment, and pointing to the manikin’s chest where the temperature probe will be placed.

Shaw: The reason this protocol lever started to use cooling is that about two to five out of every thousand infants can develop hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy or this problem at the natal or anti-natal time. Of those approximately one in six would possibly die or have severe developmental problems without this particular treatment. So we are making a difference in both the number of babies that live, and those that live that can do well as far as their development and school, and later on to have productive lives.

Visual: Shaw being interviewed back in the studio.

Reporter: Traditionally, there was nothing doctors could do to prevent a lifetime of disabilities resulting from this brain damage but now they are using this simple blanket to save brains and change lives. For the American Health Journal, I’m Laura Windsor.

Visual: In the background behind the reporter are rows of TV monitors playing various medical videos. The largest monitor displays clips including a close up of a nurse’s hand holding the hand of a baby on a cooling blanket, Shaw placing the manikin on the cooling blanket, and the title “American Health Journal” against a blue background.