If a baby has experienced a lack of oxygen during birth, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) can result in irreversible brain damage. A common therapy called therapeutic hypothermia (cooling) can be done directly after a birth in which asphyxia has occurred to prevent further damage to the brain.
There are two types of cooling performed when HIE is suspected, selective head cooling (SHC) or whole body cooling (WBC). Both types of cooling have be shown to be effective across multiple studies, but “WBC is being used more frequently because of the ease of use and the ability to perform continuous electroencephalogram (EEG) during cooling (Goenka et al 2019)”.
Goenka and colleagues decided to look further into SHC vs WBC to see which is more effective based on EEG abnormalities and MRI tests to detect brain injury. Their study involved 66 neonates; 22 of which went through SHC, with the rest treated by WBC. Their baseline parameters didn’t differ much between the two groups, but they did find that abnormalities with the EEG, as well as HIE found by MRI, was more prevalent in the infants who had SHC. They conclude by saying “WBC may offer better or at least similar neuroprotection to infants with HIE (Goenka et al 2019)”.
If you suspect a medical mistake created the need for cooling treatment, or your baby was injured as a result of cooling, it’s important you seek help from a trusted birth injury attorney. The legal team at Holton Law Firm is ready to advocate for you and your baby, and we invite you to review our free guide, Answers to Parents’ Questions About Birth Injuries.