Head Cooling or the Cool-Cap Helps Infants Born With Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) or a Lack of Oxygen at Birth

In 2006, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a head-cooling cap that can potentially prevent or reduce brain damage in infants who were deprived of oxygen at birth. The Philadelphia Thomas Jefferson University Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) was one of the first NICU's to start using head cooling in newborns to reduce the amount of brain damage.

Oxygen deprivation during labor or delivery can destroy a newborn's brain cells. The lack of oxygen can continue to cause brain damage even after birth. One way to halt or stop the destruction of brain cells is to cause hypothermia or cooling of the baby's head for a few hours or a few days. Until recently, there has been nothing to stop or reverse the neurological deficits in a newborn's brain due to blood flow deprivation. Many infants who suffered from hypoxia or oxygen deprivation during birth go on to develop seizures or cerebral palsy. For years, it has been known that deep hypothermia or cooling of the brain produces neuroprotection or protection of the brain during open heart surgery, cardiac arrest, or neurosurgical procedures.

Head cooling should be initiated as soon as possible to stop the destruction of brain cells and halt the progressive brain damage that can come from it. Clinical studies have shown that if the injured brain is cooled within 6 hours of the insult or injury, it can interrupt the ongoing brain damage and have a positive effect in a reduction of brain cell death.

The following video shows just how amazing head cooling can be for infants who were deprived of oxygen during labor or birth.

For the past 53 years, the Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyers and experienced medical teams at The Beasley Firm have evaluated many birth injury cases. We have a proven record of success in representing families and newborns whose lives have been forever changed due to a lack of oxygen during birth. Our expert teams of nurses and physicians have assisted us in being awarded over $2 billion on behalf of injured victims, in addition to having numerous other record breaking verdicts and settlements.

If your baby suffered a lack of oxygen during birth, please contact one of our experienced Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at (215) 866-2424.


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