Having a baby is one of the most precious and important moments of a young mom’s and dad’s life. For nine full months you’ve been preparing your home for a happy, healthy newborn to love and raise. But sometimes, newborns aren’t always born happy and healthy. They are instead, the victims of brain-related trauma that just might be the fault of the medical provider.
When such a situation occurs, it’s important that the new parents contact a reputable personal injury attorney who can guide them through the important steps of placing a legal claim against the medical physician in charge of the birth.
Says a prominent Detroit birth injury lawyer, every year thousands of babies suffer severe injuries during the birthing process. These injuries can affect them for the rest of their lives. 750 babies, on average, will perish prior to their first birthday. Add to that, six to eight out of every 1,000 newborns are victim of trauma during the labor and delivery process. Some of these injuries are the result of genetic defects and others are simply beyond anyone’s control. But too many others are the result of medical negligence by a mid-wife, a nurse and/or a physician.
Birth-Related Brain Injury
Some of these birth injuries are brain related and a direct result of the baby not getting enough precious oxygen during delivery. What’s more, a new study states that treatment for a birth-related brain injury may actually cause more harm than good. The therapy that’s engineered to assist with reducing death and injuries in brain injured newborns, especially those from low and middle-income countries, is actually elevating the risk of death.
According to Medical Xpress, researchers at the Imperial College of London have discovered that a medical process known as therapeutic hypothermia can be more injurious to babies than previously thought. The study went on to further conclude that newborns treated with therapeutic hypothermia faced a much higher risk of severe to moderate disabilities and even death, than those babies who received no treatment at all.
Birth Injury Guide states that therapeutic hypothermia is a standard treatment designed for newborns who’ve experienced oxygen deprivation during the delivery process. The newborns are immediately placed on a cooling mat to reduce their body temperature down to approximately 90.5 to 94.1 F. This is done to lower the chances of serious brain injury.
The newborns will sometimes remain on the cooling mat for up to three full days while being monitored by hospital staff for complication that might come from the treatment.
Statistics show that newborns who are born while being deprived of oxygen occurs one to eight out of 1,000 births, or so states JAMA Pediatrics. Newborns with neonatal encephalopathy will encounter the risk of severe disability or death. An incredible one million babies die every year from this condition, most of them in low income-countries.
The HELIX Trial
In order to determine if the benefits of therapeutic hypothermia outweighed the risks in babies who suffered from birth-related brain injury, researcher enrolled more than 400 participants in a new study. The group was split in two with half the participants getting the therapeutic hypothermia and the other getting nothing.
The so-called HELIX Trial was said to be random is its selection of which newborns received the treatment. But all of the newborns engaged in the trial spent up to 72 hours in the natal intensive care unit (NICU). The babies given the therapeutic hypothermia received no more than six hours after their delivery.
At the end of the trial, all babies underwent an MRI scan on their brains. A follow-up exam was conducted at 18 months of age to determine developmental health.
What Researcher’s Discovered
Says Medical Xpress, researchers discovered that 50 percent of the babies in the group having received the therapeutic hypothermia had either died or received “moderate to severe” brain disabilities.
The group that did not undergo therapeutic hypothermia had 47 percent of the babies die or suffer from “moderate to severe” brain disabilities.
What this means is, 42 percent of the newborns in the treatment group passed away versus 31 percent in the control group who lived. As a result, researchers are now calling for “an immediate halt” to the use of therapeutic hypothermia since the study clearly shows that it can do more harm than good.
If your baby has received birth-related brain trauma as a result of a medical negligence, it’s important to consult with a reputable personal injury attorney immediately.