Hypothermia, hypotension and brain injury

Babies who suffer asphyxia are sometimes treated by having their body temperature reduced (hypothermia). This can sometimes lead to abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension) which, in turn, can lead to brain injuries. In this study a team of researchers, led by Asim Al Balushi, from McGill University in Montreal, looked at the incidence of hypotension in asphyxiated new-born babies treated with hypothermia, the variability in treatments for hypotension and the impact of hypotension on the pattern of brain injury. 190 babies who had suffered from asphyxia were treated with hypothermia of whom 81% developed hypertension. In turn 55% of the babies in the hypotensive group developed brain injury compared with 35% in the group with normal blood pressure. 29% of the babies with hypotension developed severe brain injury, compared to only 15% of the ones with normal blood pressure. 19% of the babies presenting with volume- and/or catecholamine-resistant hypotension had near-total injury, compared with 6% in the normotensive group and 8% in the group responding to volume and/or catecholamines.

You can read the abstract of this article here.


About John Gale

I work as a medical librarian in the Joint Education and Training (JET) library at Leighton Hospital, Crewe. I keep clinicians up to date with the latest research, help them to find the best information about treatment and train them to find - and assess - high-quality information for themselves. I also help doctors and nurses find and write high-quality information for patients.
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