Ongoing research from British doctors has lead to the development of a life-saving procedure that utilizes hypothermia to positive effect. Since the common knowledge of hypothermia concerns its obvious dangers, suggesting that it could save lives might seem far-fetched; however, doctors have known for some time that hypothermia could protect against brain damage in animals. The question of its effects on humans remained unknown until recently.
After research, doctors began to utilize ice therapy to help infants suffering from asphyxia-related birth injuries. Ice therapy harnesses hypothermia's effects on the body such as lowering metabolism, which reduces the need for energy. This allows the body to focus on coping with and overcoming the damages caused by asphyxia.
Since birth injuries are relatively common, and can result from either natural causes or medical error, developing procedures to help protect the well-being of the infant is of utmost importance. Some of the more common birth injuries include bruising, bone fractures or swelling. However, some birth trauma can be life-threatening. For instance, the baby could become entangled in the umbilical cord, potentially depriving the newborn of oxygen. Sometimes babies can be born with slow heartbeats or even unconscious.
When a newborn is injured during birth, the repercussions can last a lifetime. Long and short-term medical costs or the costs of coping with a disability can accompany serious birth injuries, and can constitute a serious financial burden. In the event that a newborn is injured as a consequence of medical malpractice, those responsible for the error could be held legally and financially responsible.