U.K. newspaper Daily Mail reports that Britain’s Medical Research Council is funding a study into the use of the gas xenon to reduce incidence of brain damage in newborns.
According to the article, more than 1,000 otherwise healthy infants are born deprived of oxygen every year. Common reasons include infection, the umbilical cord getting wrapped around the baby’s neck and the placenta – which provides the fetus with nutrients – coming apart.
The infants who survive risk moderate to severe conditions from the resultant brain injury, ranging from learning difficulties to cerebral palsy.
Doctors have dealt with the situation by employing a technique that cools the body temperature of babies by a few degrees, which lowers the risk of brain injury in about half of cases.
The story says experts believe adding xenon treatment to cooling could double success rates. Brain cells begin to die rapidly when deprived of oxygen, and inhaled xenon gas treatment may help reverse that process by penetrating the cells and reviving them.
The story says xenon, which occurs naturally in the air, is already offered as an anesthetic.
The article quotes a physician taking part in the trial as saying: “Birth asphyxia occurs in one or two out of 1,000 deliveries in developed countries and may have lifelong implications for the children and their families. We are trying to discover if new treatments can be added to cooling to improve outcomes.”
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: