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Cool way to avoid birth injuries available in New York

Birth asphyxia is a serious birth injury that endangers the lives of many newborns around the world. Fortunately for New Yorkers, a new treatment that cools newborn babies is reducing the risks of brain damage for children who are born unresponsive and lethargic. If untreated, this birth asphyxia can result in brain damage or death.

In a recent case near Buffalo, the delivery of a couple's first baby turned scary when the baby did not cry or respond to touch. The medical staff had the baby transferred to the Woman and Children's Hospital in Buffalo. Fortunately, the new cooling therapy saved the baby; her lack of oxygen could have had much worse results.

In every 1,000 births, one to five cases of birth asphyxia occur; in every 1,000 children born with asphyxia, 23 percent die, which makes asphyxia the third leading cause of death among newborn infants after premature births and infections. Of those who survive, 50 percent are at risk of developing serious irreversible problems such as mental retardation and cerebral palsy.

Details about the efficiency of treating brain damage and lessening the effects of asphyxiation using the cooling therapy are not yet established and complete. Although it is not a miracle cure, the therapy seems to improve chances of survival and prevent the development of asphyxia-related disabilities. It is beneficial for both full-term and late-term newborns.

The case of this newborn may seem uncommon, but it is not. In this case, the baby was extremely fortunate to have responsive doctors who had an interest in applying a new technique.

Many birth injuries result from errors and negligence on the part of physicians. Parents in Queens who experience such trauma should consider their legal rights to recover awards for damages and to hold a physician liable.

Source: The Buffalo News, "Cooling Newborns To Save Their Lives," Henry Davis, Nov. 30, 2013

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