A new study from University College Cork in Ireland says that even mild oxygen deprivation at birth can cause neurological damage. EchoLive.ie reported on the study.
The study looked at a condition called hypoxic Ischaemic Encephalopathy (HIE), a type of brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen. This can cause permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy.
The study looked at infants born in Cork and Stockholm with HIE. 417 children in all were studied. They found that a significant number of children with mild HIE have impaired cognition that can cause learning or behavioral difficulties.
The treatment for severe HIE is therapeutic hypothermia, sometimes known as cooling therapy. It can improve outcomes if it is used within six hours of birth. The study recommends that this treatment should be used for mild cases as well.
Currently, therapeutic hypothermia is the only known treatment for HIE, but there have been no studies done on using this therapy for mild HIE. The researchers say that a large study is now needed to see which therapies, including cooling therapy, can best help children born with mild HIE.
The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. We hope that the researchers can secure funding to run the study so doctors will have better guidance for treating mild HIE.