Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Personal Injury, Wrongful Death and Medical Malpractice Attorneys



Cooling Procedure Holds Promise For Oxygen-Deprived Infants

Many birth injuries involve a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain. It is absolutely crucial that infants get the air they need; deprivation of air for even very short periods can cause serious brain damage or even death.
Accordingly, when there is any form of fetal distress, doctors need to be able to respond quickly and effectively. This is necessary, for example, when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around a baby’s neck. The clinical name for this is neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encelopathy.
What is the prognosis for babies who didn’t get enough oxygen during childbirth? A new research study indicates that a technique known as whole-body cooling can help increase their chances of long-term survival and decrease the chances of becoming disabled by the birth injury.
The cooling technique involves placing infants in a condition of hypothermia by deliberately lowering their body temperature. Researchers say that this temporary reduction in body temperature appears to help enable the brain to repair itself to some degree.
Cooling does this by slowing the body’s metabolic processes and preventing further damage from toxins.
The research on cooling was published in the May 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Seetha Shankaran of Wayne State University was the lead researcher.
“Children [who were] cooled at birth, at 6 to 7 years of age had a lower frequency of death or IQ below 70,” Dr. Shankaran said.
The percentage of the oxygen-deprived infants who were cooled at birth who had died by age 6-7 was 28 percent, compared to 44 percent of those who did not receive the cooling.
Although the IQ difference was not statistically significant, the difference in survival rates was.


Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.



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