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Hunter Reed: The Cool Cap System™ saved our son

Two years ago, when she was almost 38 weeks pregnant, Sabrina Reed became alarmed by her baby’s sudden inactivity in her womb. The wife of Army Staff Sergeant Travis Reed, now stationed in Kuwait, Mrs. Reed contacted doctors at Fort Hood’s Darnell Army Medical Center. Within a few hours after arriving at the hospital, she had a placental abruption, a very serious condition in which the baby may be denied oxygen and the mother may bleed heavily. Mrs. Reed’s doctor performed an emergency Caesarean section.

"When I saw Hunter, he was completely limp," she recalls. The Reeds were frightened, but became hopeful when they learned their tiny son would be transferred to Scott & White. There, neonatal experts, under the supervision of Cheryl Cipriani, MD, director of the Division of Neonatology, would administer the Cool Cap System™. It is the only FDA-approved device that could prevent damage to Hunter’s brain. This was a concern because he had been without oxygen for 19 minutes during birth. It was the only hope of reducing Hunter’s risks for cerebral palsy and other debilitating conditions, too. Scott & White is the first hospital in Texas to use this technology.

As the ambulance arrived at the hospital, Dr. Cipriani and her team were waiting. They immediately placed the Cool Cap™ on Hunter, and maintained a safe body temperature for him for 72 hours, a critical step in the process. They continuously monitored his brain activity as well.

The next two months were touch and go for young Hunter. Finally, with the help of the nurses and physicians at Scott & White’s NICU, the exhausted parents were able to bond with their newborn son.

"Everyone in the NICU was so compassionate. They made it possible for us to care for our son and be involved with his recovery," Mrs. Reed says. Remarkably, Hunter hadn’t experienced any developmental delays. Today, he’s an active and determined two-year-old. "Hunter has gone from the worst-case scenario to living a normal life without any delays," says Mrs. Reed. "We attribute this miracle to Scott & White, and thank God every day."

About the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Scott & White ranks among the nation’s top 10 percent for survival rates. As the only Level III facility between Dallas and Austin, the NICU cares for extremely premature newborns or critically ill infants who require surgery or other pediatric expertise. Specially trained pediatric teams provide ground and air transport for fragile newborns and expectant mothers. Highly specialized technology and neonatal expertise have helped thousands of families take their infants home to thrive. The 48-bed NICU is part of McLane Children’s Scott & White and is located at Scott & White Medical Center – Temple, 2401 S. 31st Street, Temple, TX.