In recent years, a new method for treating newborns that have suffered from asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen, during birth has been gaining credibility in the medical community. The method is known as hypothermia treatment, or head cooling therapy, and, according to research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the treatment can effectively reduce the risk of death or disability.
The head cooling treatment involves slowly reducing a baby’s internal body temperature from about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit to roughly 91 degrees with a blanket that contains cooled circulating water or a specially designed pad. Gradually cooling the infant’s body causes the metabolic, cerebral, and muscular functions to slow down, delaying immediate and future damage, and allowing at least partial recovery of the cells.
What Causes Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia, caused by hypoxia or ischemia, can occur for a number of reasons during birth and can cause significant damage to the infant’s brain or organs depending on the amount of time the oxygen supply is cut off. According to a recent Norwegian study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, the most common reason for birth asphyxia is human error.
Examples of poor medical care during birth that can cause hypoxia or ischemia include:
- Failure to treat prolonged labor
- Inadequate fetal monitoring
- Failure to perform an emergency or timely cesarean section
- Failure to detect and treat a pinched or tangled umbilical cord
- Failure to comply with medical guidelines
- Drug administration errors
These injuries and damages are often preventable with good medical care.
Contact a Texas Birth Injury Lawyer
Parents should never have to endure the pain of knowing that their child has been injured by the very people who were supposed to help. If you believe that your baby has suffered an injury due to medical negligence, you deserve to have answers. Birth injury attorney, Laura Brown, has the skill and resources to help families investigate what happened during the birth and, if appropriate, to take legal action against those responsible for their child’s injuries. Contact us at (214) 974-4121 for a free evaluation of your case. We can help you understand you legal rights and whether a medical malpractice claim is the right course of action.