How did he survive that flight, anyway?

Preemie NICUWe woke today to hear the news about a 16 year old boy who survived a flight from San Jose (home to Valley Medical Center) to Hawaii…in the wheel well of a jet. At 35,000 feet. And -50 degrees cold. The nation is asking: How is that remotely possible?

My first reaction to the news is now being repeated by pundits around the globe: When cooled, the human body can do some pretty amazing things. It’s very possible, experts are now saying, that the boy went into a kind of “hibernation” which allowed him to survive the cold and lack of oxygen.

At VMC’s neonatal intensive care unit, our team of newborn care doctors have been doing something similar for the last few years. We call it “total body cooling”, which is done on infants born after a period of asphyxia – like an umbilical cord prolapse (being literally strangled by the cord upon delivery).

When that happens, the infant is cooled down to prevent further possible neurological damage and then slowly warmed up. Our infants are doing remarkably well after this procedure, and the practice is gaining popularity in hospitals around the country.

Here’s the story, in case you missed it:

…and a bit more about Total Body Cooling at Valley Medical Center:

Former NICU patient now lecturing on DNA therapy

NICU BabyDana was born in 2004 at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center weighing just 530 grams.  That’s just over 1 pound. Her parents, Greg and Fan, were brought to VMC via another hospital because of VMC’s ability to manage high-risk deliveries and very low birth weight infants.

“We knew of Valley Medical; it’s well-known for providing charity care.  But we had no idea what Valley Medical would do for us,” said Greg.  “Well, we sure learned.”

Thanks to her committed parents and the dedicated, expert staff of VMCs Level 3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Dana left the hospital a happy and healthy baby.  Now, 10 years later, the 4th grader is even delivering lectures to her classmates on DNA therapy.  Dana is one of many VMC NICU success stories.  We could not be more proud. Check out her presentation below –

Join VMC’s Burn Center for a 5K!

Burn Center 5K Flyer

Join us in a 5K Run/Walk supporting our hospital’s fabulous Burn Center at Ed Levin County Park. Tickets are on sale now!

Saturday, May 2, 2014,
Registration: 9:00am – 10:30am
Race starts: 11:00am
BBQ to follow

Ed Levin County Park (at Sandy Wool Lake)
3100 Calaveras Rd, Milpitas, CA 95035-5439

$10 per child ages 2-9
$30 per adult adult and child ages 10 and over
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