One of the cases that may be experienced by babies during delivery is hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen, which can lead to brain injuries and cause conditions such as cerebral palsy and mental retardation. Fortunately, permanent brain injury from hypoxia may be prevented by a treatment known as brain cooling or head cooling.
According to an article on The Irish Times, head cooling is “an established intervention designed to reduce the extent of brain injury in a baby found to have suffered hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) during delivery.” This is standard for medical practices everywhere and should be done within six hours of birth and continues for 72 hours. Failure to perform the treatment can result in permanent brain injury.
The “head cooling” treatment is designed to prevent the deaths of more brain cells after the initial lack of oxygen. When the brain is cooled down, ideally the brain cells wake up undamaged after 72 hours so that long-term neurodevelopment is improved. This reduces the risk of developing cerebral palsy and other disabilities in the child. If head or brain cooling is not immediately administered, the hypoxia can get worse and lead to permanent brain injury.
Treatment for the effects of prolonged hypoxia often includes life-long medication and therapy. The patient may also be needing permanent intensive care. The costs for these can be quite prohibitive, and can take a toll on the finances of the patients’ family.
In cases where a head or brain cooling treatment is not immediately given leading to prolonged hypoxia, patients’ families should immediately seek help from a birth injury attorney in Bronx. Medical malpractice laws state that medical professionals must follow the standards in place; if anyone fails to meet these standards, he or she could be liable for medical malpractice.
Hypoxia, itself, may be brought about by a number a causes, including shoulder dystocia, which in turn, could be the result of negligence on the part of medical practitioners. Families of babies who suffer from hypoxia should try to look into matters that could have caused the condition. If they suspect it was a case of malpractice, they should lose no time in contacting birth injury lawyers in Bronx like those at The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein. The law professionals will closely look into the details of each case, and make sure the rights of patients and their families are protected.
(Source: How intervention can reduce brain injury in babies, The Irish Times, January 24, 2015)