Infants can suffer brain injury during birth due to various circumstances. Brain damage occurs as a result of trauma to the child’s head, poor decisions on the part of caregivers during a difficult labor, or any situation that disrupts the flow of blood and oxygen to the infant’s brain.
The trauma from injury may be temporary or cause lifelong disabilities. Health care providers utilize various methods and medications in an attempt to reduce or reverse the effects of brain injury including hypothermia. Recent studies by British researchers involving the use of Xenon gas show promising results.
Xenon Gas Attributes and Uses
Xenon exists in minuscule quantities in the atmosphere as a colorless, odorless, tasteless, noncombustible substance. The process of singling out this component is expensive, contributing to high cost of procuring this non-toxic gas. Formerly used for illumination in street lamps and other devices, the gas has been used as a general anesthetic for more than 50 years. Studies indicate patients undergoing Xenon anesthesia experience fewer side effects compared with other commonly used compounds.
Within the last decade, researchers developing brain-injury treatment techniques involving hypothermia and brain injury began investigating Xenon for potential neuroprotective properties. Xenon appears to block nerve cell receptors, keeping their healthy state intact following a brain injury as well as preventing pain. The indications from the studies also conclude the protective results are lasting.
Xenon Treatment Saves Infant from Brain Damage
Proven successful under lab environment conditions, researchers required results on human subjects. The parents of an infant, who endured oxygen deprivation, in England, agreed to allow their child to undergo Xenon inhalation therapy in combination with hypothermia, in an attempt to prevent or reverse possible brain damage. Subjected to the Xenon gas treatment, the infant showed dramatic improvement a week later, without experiencing adverse effects. Scientists and physicians are hoping to implement the treatment for other infants experiencing hazardous trauma at birth.
Xenon Gas Potential
Scientists have and continue to develop special respiration devices that effectively deliver Xenon gas therapy. The machines deliver appropriate doses for varying lengths of time without losing the precious gas back into the atmosphere. The apparatuses are few, but received approval for further testing and use.
Xenon gas therapy requires further research before health care providers know the success for Xenon use in other brain injury patients. In the United States alone, over one million individuals endure brain injuries annually. The majority of these injuries occur because of motor vehicle accidents, falls or sports related situations. An estimated 50,000 people die annually and many more suffer permanent disabilities subsequent to brain trauma. The potential for Xenon gas therapy combined with hypothermia to save or improve the quality of life for patients is staggering.
Brain injury under any circumstance causes emotional, financial, physical and psychological hardships for families. This includes escalating medical expenses, in addition to temporary or permanent loss of employment. Contact our office for a free consultation and case evaluation. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in gaining monetary compensation to help pay for such expenses.