Tin foil hats finally find a purpose: Cool-Cap baby cooling

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Paul Miller
December 24th, 2006
Tin foil hats finally find a purpose: Cool-Cap baby cooling

The FDA has just lent its stamp of approval to the new Olympic Cool-Cap from Olympic Medical of Seattle. The shiny little hat is designed to help treat hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE -- yeah, we never heard of it either) in newborn infants. It's a potentially fatal injury to the brain caused by low levels of oxygen, and kills 20-25 percent of its victims, with 25 percent suffering permanent disabilities. The Cool-Cap is designed to combat the condition by creating a steady flow of water in the cap to cool the baby's head. It's not as simple as it sounds, with a whole control system involved to monitor the kid, and a solid-state water cooler to deliver uber-precise temperatures to the cap. The foil of the cap is designed to minimize heat, which is great, since it turns out those tin foil hats of ours were never doing much good after all.
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