Project Lead(s): Robert Karanja
In Kenya, birth asphyxia accounts for 31% of all neonatal hospital admissions, and causes 10,000 deaths annually. Asphyxia can result in death or brain damage for those who survive.
Therapeutic cooling is a well-recognized treatment option for asphyxia; however, many LMICs cannot afford the cost of the specialized equipment required for treatment.
The Miracradle was a specialized neonatal bed designed to provide therapeutic hypothermia for neonates suffering from birth asphyxia.
The Miracradle included phase change materials to help regulate body temperature at the optimum temperature of 33°C. This technology required minimal electricity and supervision to function effectively.
The project demonstrated the efficacy of Miracradle in maintaining a desired body temperature of 33°C. Infants who used the Miracradle demonstrated markedly better clinical outcomes than infants who did not.
The project found that knowledge and attitudes towards therapeutic cooling were initially a barrier. The county’s high incidence of pneumonia made the idea of cooling down neonates counter-intuitive for locals and hospital staff.
Despite this, the study successfully cooled neonates without a single case of pneumonia.
The team is aiming to build on this success by partnering with other healthcare organizations.