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Caffeine and hypothermia to prevent cerebral palsy

| Jul 12, 2018 | birth injuries

Applying therapeutic hypothermia to Texas newborns who have been deprived of oxygen during birth can be an effective preventative treatment against cerebral palsy, according to a review study. The study also found that caffeine administered to preterm newborns who are being weaned from the use of assisted breathing machines can be useful. Newborns who were administered corticosteroids within their first weeks of life in order to prevent chronic lung disease had an increased chance of developing cerebral palsy.

The term cerebral palsy refers to a group of diseases that hamper posture and movement. As the most frequently occurring childhood physical disability, it is usually the result of factors that occurred during, before or after a birth that resulted in damage to a brain still in development.

Medical professionals are unable to point to a single cause that is responsible for cerebral palsy. However, there are numerous risk factors linked to the development of the condition. Injuries that occur at any time during the neonatal period, or from birth to the first month of life, are particularly associated with high incidents rates of cerebral palsy. Premature or preterm birth, which refers to the birth that takes place before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is also linked to increased rates of the condition.

Additional risk factors for cerebral palsy include periods in which there is a loss of oxygen during the neonatal period and blood vessel disease. Diseases in the lungs and airways are also risk factors.

A medical malpractice attorney may help parents obtain financial compensation from medical personnel whose negligent medical care resulted in birth injuries. Lawsuits may be filed against physicians and hospital facilities for birth injuries that resulted in permanent disabilities, broken bones or death.