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Cooling Blankets Help Reduce the Effects of Birth Injuries

Parents of children who suffer birth injuries now can seek post-natal treatment for their newborns to reverse brain damage. A researcher at the University of Florida has discovered that the use of cooling blankets within six hours of birth may help to reduce the effects of brain damage in infants. WPTV and the Examiner.com report that these findings come after an 18 month study that looked at how these medical devices may help babies by essentially cooling their brains. This new treatment will help babies who have suffered brain damage during birth due to a low blood supply or lack of oxygen. A lack of oxygen can occur when the placenta separates from the mother’s uterus too early, and may also occur if the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around an infant’s neck or is compressed during the birthing process. When these complications happen during birth, practitioners have very little time to extract the baby before brain damage can occur. This brain damage can lead to cerebral palsy, seizure, blindness and even death.

The cooling blankets are effective at treating newborns who are under six hours old. The babies are wrapped in the cooling blankets for 72 hours and during this time their body temperature drops to 91 degrees. This drop in body temperature reduces cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain, to prevent further damage. The treatment has proven effective in reducing death and neurological defects. This is the first treatment available to reduce brain injuries in infants.

Although the treatment is currently only available in teaching hospitals, it is promising to hear that researchers are finding ways to reduce the devastating effects of brain injuries at birth. When children suffer brain injuries at birth, the impact on both the child and its family is great. In many instances, these children must endure life-long medical treatment and care which can lead to millions in medical expenses over a lifetime. Hopefully, the number of children severely injured by brain injuries will drop with this new medical procedure.

To read more about the new treatment to reduce brain damage due to birth injuries, follow the link.