Study: High-tech procedure may prevent brain damage in newborns

A new study shows a high-tech procedure called therapeutic hypothermia can make a huge difference in the lives of babies deprived of oxygen at birth.

Bridgeport Hospital says it recently used the new technology in a case where the unborn baby's placenta separated from the womb, causing the child life-threatening trauma. Hospital officials say the baby boy is now thriving and there are no signs that his oxygen deprivation caused brain damage.

Dr. Robert Herzlinger, of Bridgeport Hospital's newborn intensive care unit, says the therapeutic hypothermia blanket circulates cool water and when placed over a newborn, it can help prevent brain damage associated with lack of oxygen. He says the procedure seems to reduce the oxygen needs of the brain, inhibiting the release of substances that can damage the brain.

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