Novel resuscitation strategy for babies with birth asphyxia

During birth, the baby has to stop depending on the placenta and start breathing on his or her own. If there are problems during the birth process, the baby may spend a period of time in the pathological condition of asphyxia, where the oxygen levels in the blood are much lower and carbon dioxide levels are much higher than expected.

Birth asphyxia is the most common cause of seizures in newborn babies. Birth asphyxia seizures tend to cause problems later in life. The range of these problems is very wide, and include problems of movement and poor performance in school.

Gradual decrease of abnormally high carbon dioxide prevents seizures

Current resuscitation protocols for babies include strict instructions on how to control the oxygen the baby is breathing. Instructions on how to control are, however, absent. When are quickly restored in babies after , carbon dioxide levels are also quickly restored.

Mohamed Helmy in the Laboratory of Neurobiology, University of Helsinki, Finland, developed for his doctoral dissertation a rat model of birth asphyxia, the original idea of Prof. Kai Kaila. They found out that this quick restoration of carbon dioxide levels after birth asphyxia may in fact trigger seizures.

"In our new therapeutic strategy carbon dioxide levels were restored gradually after birth asphyxia and the rats had far fewer seizures. Restoring carbon dioxide levels after experimental birth asphyxia gradually also resulted in more favorable outcome of behavior in adult life when compared with rats in which carbon dioxide levels were restored quickly after experimental birth asphyxia", Mohamed Helmy explains.

The Laboratory of Neurobiology in the University of Helsinki, Finland, is now investigating the mechanisms underlying birth asphyxia seizures, and developing the proposed treatment further.

More information: The report is available online: helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/ha… ation.pdf?sequence=1

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Human error most common cause of birth asphyxia

Nov 18, 2013

Findings from a 15-year study published in Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica, a journal of the Nordic Federation of Societies of Obstetrics and Gynecology, indicate that human error is the most common cause of inf ...

Recommended for you

Hungry or not, kids will eat treats

2 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Even though they are not hungry, children as young as three will find high-energy treats too tempting to refuse, new QUT research has found.

Children may be at lower risk for Ebola virus disease

17 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Children may be at lower risk of Ebola virus disease (EVD), but physicians should be aware of the signs and symptoms, according to a viewpoint piece published online Oct. 17 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Sustained benefit for parental tobacco control program

18 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Practices that are part of a parental tobacco control intervention have higher rates of delivering tobacco control assistance to parents over a one-year follow-up period, according to a study ...

User comments