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U.K. doctors 'freeze' baby with heart condition

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Feb. 15, 2013 at 11:47 AM   |   Comments

http://cdnph.upi.com/sv/em/i/UPI-8441360946374/2013/1/13609481398875/UK-doctors-freeze-baby-with-heart-condition.jpg
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Claire Ives was seven months pregnant when she heard her baby's heart beating way too fast -- 300 beats per minute, double the normal rate of 160.

“I thought I wasn’t listening right or something,” Ives told ABCNews.com. “I didn’t believe his [heart] rate could be that fast.”

Babies born with supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), which raises an infant's heart rate to dangerous levels, are given a five percent chance of survival. But the doctors who delivered baby Edward Ives used a new treatment that required them to lower the newborn's body temperature from a normal 98.6 degrees to a cool 91 with blanket of cold gel. They gradually raised his temperature each day until his heart slowed to more natural levels.

"He was heavily sedated so didn't move much, and he was cold to touch - it looked like he was dead," Edward's mother said of her baby during the treatment.

Now a healthy six-year-old boy, doctors still monitor Edward occasionally for any irregular heart patterns.

“It’s made me appreciate all the small things about my children,” said Claire Ives. ”It’s the best thing ever to bring him home.”

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