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Testing a cool way to prevent brain damage

by Mike Miller
Testing a cool way to prevent brain damage

Scientists are preparing a clinical trial to see if lowering a baby’s temperature after birth could reduce the risk of brain damage if the baby suffers from a lack of oxygen.

Sometimes during delivery the blood supply to the baby is blocked, or the placenta detaches from the mother before the baby is using its lungs to breathe. Sometimes the reason why a baby does not receive enough oxygen during delivery is unknown. The possible effects of insufficient oxygen (asphyxia), however, are well documented. A quarter of all babies suffering moderate asphyxia at birth develop cerebral palsy, and almost all babies who suffer severe asphyxia die or develop multiple disabilities.