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Treatment helps newborns with brain injuries

A story in the Irish Independent deals with a promising treatment for babies born with brain injuries.

The treatment, called therapeutic cooling, involves bringing a newborn’s body temperature down to 32 degrees centigrade – about 90 degrees Fahrenheit — for 72 hours as soon as possible after birth.

The story includes consultant pediatrician John Murphy’s testimony to Irish health regulators.

Murphy says therapeutic cooling has proven effective in treating one in four or five newborns, who may have contracted cerebral palsy without the treatment. But it must be administered within six hours of birth.

He’s quoted as saying: “This treatment can only improve – now we have the first breakthrough in preventing this. Oddly enough, the damage from lack of oxygen to the brain does not happen immediately, but over a period of time and if we get within that window, we have the opportunity to reverse the damage.”

The logistical challenges, Murphy said, mostly involve transporting the newborns to medical providers so they can undergo the treatment.

In that respect, Ireland has the advantage of being a relatively small geographic area with good roads. But Murphy testified that the available neonatal transport system operates only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Murphy was advocating for a 24-hour transport service. He told the health regulators that such a system would “save lives.”

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, check with Lopez McHugh for a free consultation to see what your legal options are.

See the story here:

http://www.independent.ie/health/health-news/at-last-treatment-for-babies-starved-of-oxygen-at-birth-3358290.html