Prescription Arkansas: Birth trauma

    10:41 PM, Aug 3, 2011   |    comments
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    UNDATED (KTHV) -- It may have been a perfect pregnancy, but sadly something still might go wrong during delivery.

    In this month's Prescription Arkansas report-we learn how doctors at Baptist Health are trying to help save children who suffer birth trauma from disabilities or even death.

    Two out of every thousand full-term infants experience some degree of brain injury due to low oxygen from an umbilical cord being wrapped around their neck or some other complication before or during birth.

    That deprivation might result in a lifetime of disabilities or even death.

    Neonatologist doctor William Benton says if the trauma is detected early enough, there is something that can help.

    "The cooling cap is one of the available technologies to treat babies that have a condition that some newborns are born with called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Deprivation of the brain at birth," says Benton.

    Benton says of the 15 to 18 babies born with this condition either whole body cooling or selective head cooling can rescue as many as three of those babies either from disability or death. Just ask Finnleigh Spears' parents. Finnleigh was not breathing at birth.

    The cap has to stay on for at least 72-hours, the baby is then rewarmed then taken off the ventilator after a couple more days.

    Finnleigh's parents say one of the worst parts was that they didn't get to hold her the first few days of her life. They say her pediatrician is pleased with her progress.

    "She's a baby, she's a normal baby."

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