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Low-cost device may help prevent birth injuries

A new device has been developed that could help New Jersey doctors protect the brains of newborn infants who have been deprived oxygen. This device is only $40, and it offers a significant savings over the $12,000 unit that is utilized in many hospitals. By using this device, it may be possible to avert birth injuries like cerebral palsy or other brain disorders that can occur when a baby is starved for oxygen.

Based on observations made by the chief medical officer from Kennedy Krieger Institute of Egyptian doctors using various methods to keep a newborn baby's brain cool and protected, a group of undergraduate students sought to find a method of doing the same thing but in a more effective manner. The device they came up with was made with simple and low-cost items; all that's needed to active it is a little bit of water.

With this device, it may be possible to prevent hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. Around the world, more than 50 percent of newborns who are born with this condition die, and those that don't are often diagnosed with brain disorders like cerebral palsy. The project to advance this device is moving forward, and it may be especially popular in third-world countries where access to expensive medical machinery is rare.

While not every birth injury is a result of a New Jersey medical provider's negligence, there are many cases where failure to quickly respond to fetal distress or failure to properly diagnose a situation leads to the permanent disability or death of an infant. In the event negligence has caused a birth injury, a personal injury attorney may be able to recover compensation from the responsible parties.

Source: Futurity, "Low-cost device averts baby brain damage," Phil Sneiderman, March 25, 2013

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