In this instance, a baby’s hypothermia treatment lead to a family contacting us. For this family, there were too many questions left unanswered for them, surrounding at the time, little information regarding their baby’s brain injury. All that they knew was that their baby had a brain injury. So, what is hypothermia treatment as it pertains to a baby dealing with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)?
My goal in this birth injury educational article is to help you understand not only hypothermia treatment, but also HIE. Understanding these issues can help your family in the area of possible treatments and future actions regarding the baby’s challenges. This is why a baby’s hypothermia treatment lead a family to contact us.
WHAT IS HYPOTHERMIA TREATMENT FOR BABIES WITH BRAIN INJURIES?
Recently, hypothermia is now being used to help treat babies who have suffered a brain injury at birth. The idea is to cool the baby in hopes to slow down the progression of injury. When deciding whether to use hypothermia treatment, there are factors and other things that doctors will take into consideration. For example, the PH level of the cord gas (below 7) will be a factor.
The treatment looks to cool the baby’s body temperature to between 33.5 and 34.5 degrees Celsius. This treatment must be done within six hours of birth and must be done continuous for seventy-two hours. The goal is to lower the baby’s metabolic rate, thus helping injured cells and decreasing the severity of the injury.
Doctors must be alert for the possibility of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy in newborns who demonstrate certain findings. Delay in diagnosing HIE, or not following the proper procedures for brain cooling, can lead to the baby losing out on important treatment.
WHY A BABY’S HYPOTHERMIA TREATMENT LEAD A FAMILY TO CONTACT US…
For one family, the fact that their baby had to be “cooled down,” coupled with the fact the doctors were saying that the baby had a brain injury, was an immediate sign that they needed to start and research what had happened to their baby. The doctors and nurses were giving little information as to what lead to the events mentioned above. One word did stand out, HIE.
HIE, in its simplest form, is a reduced level of blood and oxygen getting to the baby which can lead to a brain injury. The electronic fetal heart monitor can help doctors and nurses monitor the baby’s well-being. Failure to properly interpret the fetal strip can lead to a baby suffering from fetal distress, and an eventual brain injury (HIE) in some cases.
Therefore, doctors must properly diagnosis and treat fetal distress. Babies can suffer a brain injury when doctors do not move to an emergency C-section, but instead allow mother to continue with a vaginal delivery, even past the baby’s fetal reserves.
DID YOUR BABY NEED HYPOTHERMIA TREATMENT?
It is ok to reach out for help if your baby has suffered a brain injury at birth and you have questions. We speak with families all the time who have been in your situation and are worried about the challenges that their baby will face into the future. As one mother told me, “medical care is expensive, and I don’t know how we as a family will be able to do this.” Remember, we are here to help.
I can be reached at 301-850-4832. I answer Maryland birth injury and medical malpractice questions just like yours all the time and I will be happy to listen to your story.
Marcus B. Boston, Esq.
2 Wisconsin Circle, Suite 700
Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815
1-833-4 BABY HELP