Doctors technically "froze" a baby in order to save his life, reports state. The risky move paid off and now the baby boy is a healthy six months old and his family could not be more grateful.
During her seventh month of pregnancy, Claire Ives listened to the heartbeat of her unborn son; she was astonished to hear it racing so quickly and thought something must be wrong.
"I thought I wasn't listening right or something," Ives told ABC News. "I didn't believe his heart rate could be that fast," she said. At the time, his heart was beating at nearly 300 beats per minute, which is nearly double an average and healthy rate, 160.
Baby Edward arrived five weeks early so that doctors could monitor his heart more thoroughly and try and help the infant survive. They were still perplexed as to how to control his accelerated heart rate, which increased hours after he was born. Electrical shock did not work, and medications failed as well.
"We'd gone through all the usual maneuvers that usually work in babies, giving drugs … trying to shock the heart, the baby and get [a healthy heart rate back]," Dr. Nicola Robertson told ABC.
They decided to try an experimental procedure usually reserved for adults; they would lower his body temperature in order to slow the heart. Once it reached a certain temperature, they could control the heart rate. The procedure worked, but as soon as they started to warm Edward up again, his heart rate also spiked. They had to cool his body again but this time administered medication as well.
"That was one of the worst nights," Ives said. "I asked one of the nurses if he was going to die, and she said he might. It was really strange highs and lows because he was doing extremely poorly, but oh, thank God! It worked."
Doctors normally only use the cooling method on adults, including those who are in the middle of a heart attack or cardiac arrhythmia. The process can be dangerous; if the body's temperature is too low, the heart could stop altogether.
Baby Edward came home recently and is constantly being monitored so that his heart rate won't spike again.
"It's the best thing ever to bring him home," Ives said.