Recent Study Finds Benefits of ECMO during Therapeutic Hypothermia for Infants with HIE

Babies with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) often experience respiratory problems. Because of this, they may require assistance with breathing after birth. This can be done through the urgent method of resuscitation, or the more long-term assistance of inhaled nitric acid, high-frequency ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) (1). These long-term practices are commonly used for neonates…

New Updates in Umbilical Cord Therapy for the Treatment of HIE

The standard treatment for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) in infants is therapeutic hypothermia (TH). TH can have great benefits for babies affected by HIE, but there are certain criteria that must be met first (1): TH must be administered within six hours of birth TH is not appropriate for preterm babies TH is most successful in…

Recent Findings on the Association Between Placental Lesions and HIE

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain injury caused by insufficient oxygenated blood flow to the brain at or near the time of delivery. There are many potential causes of HIE, including high-risk pregnancy conditions, labor and delivery issues, and medical mistakes. Recent studies have sought to find connections between placental and umbilical cord issues and…

Cost-effectiveness of betamethasone therapy for women at risk of delivering a premature baby (between 34 and 36 weeks)

Premature babies often have numerous health problems, and require extensive, costly treatments (1). Their underdeveloped organs and general fragility make them especially susceptible to birth injuries, infections, and other neonatal complications. In the United States, 70% of premature births occur between weeks 34 and 36 of pregnancy, or the “late preterm period” (2) These infants…

Journalists release shocking rates of childbirth complications in hospitals across the U.S.

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate of any developed country in the world (1). There are myriad reasons for this devastating fact, one of which is that hospitals across the country can be terribly unprepared for maternal emergencies. In a recent USA Today story, journalists examined billing records from seven million births in…

Researchers identify pregnancy conditions that increase the risk of neonatal hypoxia

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a type of newborn brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation during or around the time of birth, has been linked to a variety of pregnancy conditions. Inna Skarga-Bandurova and colleagues in the Ukraine recently published a study on risk factors for chronic fetal hypoxia (i.e. long-term oxygen deprivation). They analyzed data from…

Covering the cost of a NICU stay

When a baby requires care after birth, they will be transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, or the NICU. Babies may require a NICU stay if they were born prematurely, had problems during delivery, or experienced complications after birth. The cost of a NICU stay depends on a number of factors including duration, treatments,…

Research on babies and children in South Carolina reveals decline in the incidence of cerebral palsy

In Australia and Europe, researchers have been able to use population-based registries to extract data on the incidence of cerebral palsy (CP) over time. However, the U.S. does not have a similar registry, and therefore research on the prevalence of cerebral palsy in American babies and children has produced more nebulous results. This lack of…

Study of birth injury cases sheds light on medical errors responsible for cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy often stems from medical malpractice around the time of birth (making it a birth injury), and many parents choose to sue the doctors or hospitals that are responsible. Information collected from these legal cases could shed light on the types of medical errors most likely to contribute to a cerebral palsy diagnosis; however,…