Newborn baby “frozen” for three days to prevent brain damage after being starved of oxygen in the womb
A baby who came back to life 25 minutes after being stillborn, was revived after quick-thinking doctors put her in a hypothermic state for 72 hours, reports the Daily Mail.
Little Ella Anderson, who is now a healthy 9-month-old, was stillborn after being starved of oxygen in the womb. Though the labour had seemed straightforward, mum Rachel’s placenta had ruptured, restricting the blood and oxygen supply to baby Ella.
"I’d held her for no more than two seconds when the midwife told Jason to pull the emergency cord,” Rachel said. “The doctors told us to prepare for the worst and that they didn’t think she would make it through.”
Doctors found a weak heartbeat after working on the tot for 25 minutes and, fearing brain damage, transferred her to Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge for a new freezing treatment to reduce the swelling on her brain. She was put into a cooling basket to reduce her temperature from 37°C to 33.5°C.
The reduced temperature gave Ella’s brain the chance to repair itself and recent brain scans have shown she suffered no damage due to the lack of oxygen.
Though not yet available at all hospitals, this cooling treatment has been recommended for all newborns who suffer from a lack of oxygen at birth, as Ella did.
“It is very important that infants eligible for this cooling treatment are identified early, as the sooner cooling starts the better,” explained Dr Topun Austin, Ella’s paediatrician.
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