Dr. Jeffrey R. Kaiser, national leader in neonatal neurology, leads newborn hypothermia program at Texas Children's Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine

Aug 22, 2012, 11:56 ET from Texas Children's Hospital

Whole body cooling treatments proven to have a long term impact on neonatal outcomes

HOUSTON, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine announced the arrival of Dr. Jeffrey Kaiser to lead the hospital's hypothermia program for newborns. Kaiser, an internationally recognized leader in neonatal neurology and a National Institutes of Health-funded researcher, joins Texas Children's as a neonatologist and professor of pediatrics in obstetrics and gynecology at BCM. Watch a video to learn more about whole body cooling for newborns.

An expert in hypothermia or cooling treatments for infants who are oxygen deprived at birth, a condition known as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), Kaiser was the first physician in the world to use U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved head-cooling equipment on an infant with HIE. Recent studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Pediatric Research suggested that babies with HIE who were cooled shortly after birth continue to benefit from the therapy at school age.

Texas Children's Newborn Center, together with the hospital's new Pavilion for Women, houses the nation's largest level-3 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and is one of only two hospitals in the greater Houston area to offer whole body cooling treatments to prevent fatalities and severe neurological damage that can lead to mental retardation, cerebral palsy and epilepsy in full-term babies who are oxygen deprived at birth.  Whole body cooling treatments are administered within six hours of birth, last for 72 hours and bring a babies' temperature down to 33.5 degrees Celsius (92.3 Fahrenheit) to allow brain cells that would have been otherwise died or been severely damaged, to heal.

"Dr. Kaiser's expertise in newborn cooling treatments will provide an invaluable benefit to our patients and improve long term outcomes for many babies," said Dr. Stephen Welty, chief of neonatology at Texas Children's Hospital and head of newborn section, Department of Pediatrics at BCM. "Additionally, his cutting-edge research on brain injury in premature infants will impact how we treat our patients, especially our tiniest, most critically ill babies."

A principal and co-principal investigator on numerous research projects, Kaiser's research focuses largely on preventing brain injuries in premature infants.

Kaiser comes to Texas Children's and BCM from Arkansas Children's Hospital and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences where he served as an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology. He earned his bachelor's degree in biological sciences from the University of Chicago, his medical degree from the University of Maryland's College of Medicine and a master's degree in the sociology of education from Johns Hopkins University. Kaiser completed a residency in pediatrics and a two year residency in obstetrics and gynecology at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine. He was also previously a fellow in perinatal-neonatal medicine at Parkland Memorial Hospital at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and is board certified in neonatal-perinatal medicine.

In addition to his commitment to treating patients, Kaiser is a member of numerous professional organizations including the Society for Pediatric Research, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Medical Association. He is also a journal reviewer for publications including Pediatrics, the Journal of Perinatology, Early Human Development, Pediatric Nephrology and many others. He has been invited to present at dozens of national and international meetings and has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and more than 40 abstracts which have been published in journals including the Journal of Pediatrics, Pediatrics, Journal of Perinatology, Pediatric Research and the American Journal of Physiology. For more information about Texas Children's, which is ranked #2 nationally in neonatology by U.S.News & World Report, visit: Texas Children's Newborn Center.

About Texas Children's Hospital
Texas Children's Hospital, a not-for-profit organization, is committed to creating a community of healthy children through excellence in patient care, education and research. Consistently ranked among the top children's hospitals in the nation, Texas Children's has recognized Centers of Excellence in multiple pediatric subspecialties including the Cancer and Heart Centers, and operates the largest primary pediatric care network in the country. Texas Children's has completed a $1.5 billion expansion, which includes the Jan and Dan Duncan Neurological Research Institute; Texas Children's Pavilion for Women, a comprehensive obstetrics/gynecology facility focusing on high-risk births; and Texas Children's Hospital West Campus, a community hospital in suburban West Houston.  For more information on Texas Children's, go to www.texaschildrens.org. Get the latest news from Texas Children's by visiting the online newsroom and on Twitter at twitter.com/texaschildrens.

Texas Children's Hospital
Veronika Javor Romeis 

Baylor College of Medicine
Glenna Picton

SOURCE Texas Children's Hospital