British doctors used a extraordinary “freezing” procedure to treat little Edward Ives who was born with a condition that made his heart beat at nearly double the rate of a typical infant.

After being born premature, Ives suffered from a condition called supraventricular tachycardia and had a five percent chance of survival. Doctors sedated him and wrapped his body with a blanket filled with cooling gel for four days. The gel lowered his body temperature and eventually his heart rate slowed to a normal pace. Doctors were able to return his body to a normal temperature, and now he is home and doing well.

This morning on Happening Now, Dr. Kevin Campbell explained the procedure called induced hypothermia. It’s used in both children and adults and during it, the body is chilled to 91 degrees.

“The way it is done is it down-regulates the rate at which the cells in the brain and other organs use nutrients and process waste. So in a sense, it allows time for the doctors to get therapy for the supraventricular tachycardia or the other cause of the heart problem, and allows the cells not to die so that we preserve neurological function,” he said.

He also weighed in on Ives’ prognosis. Watch below.


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