Researchers at University College London have identified new technology that will assist doctors to assess brain damage in newborn babies.

With the shocking statistic that five babies in every 1000 births in England suffer a condition linked to brain injury at or soon after birth, the team identified the urgent need to identify the extent of the brain injury at an early stage in life to assist in effective treatment.

The new broadband NIRS system has now been approved for a clinical trial. The technology is non-invasive and works by shining infrared light into the brain to monitor brain oxygen levels and energy usage. This will enable earlier detection of a brain injury as the technology can be used at the bedside, rather than waiting for several days for a baby to be stable enough to be transferred for an MRI. Earlier detection of any injury will allow clinicians to determine individualised treatment and the hope is that with tailored treatment, lives will be saved and disabilities prevented.

This news, together with the Department of Health target to reduce the number of babies that suffer a brain injury during or soon after birth by 2020 and to halve them by 2030 is, of course, welcome news. 

We assist a number of families that have unfortunately experienced the tragic life-changing injury to their baby as a result of a brain injury at or soon after birth.  Being informed that your child has suffered a brain injury is devastating.  We can help to guide you through this traumatic time and help to obtain the answers as to why it happened.  Where the injury has arisen as a result of a negligent act or omission, we will work with you to ensure that your child receives the care, support, equipment and therapies needed throughout their life.

For more information

If you would like to discuss matters further on a no obligation basis, please contact Rankeshwar Batta or Victoria Fullilove.