There is new hope for minimizing the damage suffered by children who suffer from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is associated with oxygen deprivation during a traumatic birth, often due to medical decisions or procedures utilized without adequate medical monitoring.
The new technology cools the infant’s body by wrapping the baby in a vest to lower the body temperature. The lower body temperature lowers the body’s need for oxygen, and low oxygenation of the blood and brain is the cause of many of the more debilitating side effects of HIE. While the body temperature is lowered, medical professionals can use a variety of tools to re-oxygenate the blood, then use adrenaline to accelerate the heart rate, pushing the blood to the brain and other organs more rapidly once the initial difficulties are under control.
Therapeutic hypothermia has been used on adult stroke victims to similarly minimize the damage done by the adverse event. Clinical trials are still being performed, but traditional trials will be difficult due to HIE being caused by a traumatic event, unlike other diseases that are ongoing or easily replicable in a lab setting.
The most important factor with this treatment is a quick diagnosis if an anoxic event occurs during delivery. Doctors must correctly monitor the infant’s vital signs, particularly with regards to heart rate, so that if an adverse event occurs the proper treatment protocol is in place and followed.
If your child suffered an anoxic event or other traumatic birth injury, determining whether or not medical staff followed proper guidelines is important. Traumatic birth injuries can indicate that a particular hospital or doctor is engaging in unsafe behaviors, putting other infants at risk. Please, have your case evaluated by an experienced attorney who can help you determine whether or not your child was put at unnecessary risk.