BACKGROUND: Therapeutic hypothermia (TH) following perinatal asphyxial encephalopathy in term infants improves mortality and neurodevelopmental outcome. In Europe, most neonatal units perform active cooling whereas in Switzerland passive cooling is predominantly used. AIMS: (i) To determine how many infants were cooled within the last 5years in Switzerland, (ii) to assess the cooling methods, (iii) to evaluate the variation of temperature of different cooling methods, and (iv) to evaluate the use of neuromonitoring. STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. PATIENTS: Notes of all cooled term infants between March 2005 and December 2010 in 9 perinatal and two paediatric intensive care centres were retrospectively reviewed. Active cooling was compared to passive cooling alone and to passive cooling in combination with gel packs. RESULTS: 150 infants were cooled. Twenty-seven (18.2%) were cooled actively, 34 (23%) passively and 87 (58.8%) passively in combination with gel packs. Variation of temperature was significantly different between the three methods. Passive cooling had a significant higher variation of temperature (SD of 0.89) than both passive cooling in combination with gel packs (SD of 0.79) and active cooling (SD of 0.76). aEEG before TH was obtained in 35.8% of the infants and 86.5% had full EEG. One cUS was performed in 95.3% and MRI in 62.2% of the infants. CONCLUSION: Target temperature can be achieved with all three cooling methods. Passive cooling has the highest variation of temperature. Neuromonitoring should be improved in Swiss neonatal and paediatric intensive care units. Our results stress the importance of national registries.