Hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen getting to a baby from the placenta around the time of birth.
HIE occurs in 1 in every 1,000 births in the UK.
Therapeutic Hypothermia, or cooling treatment, is administered as soon as possible to potentially reduce the risk of death and severity of on-going effects.
Therapeutic Hypothermia sees a child's body temperature lowered to 33.5°C (compared to a more normal 37°C) over a 72 hour period to try to limit the extent of brain injury and reduce the risk of future developmental issues.
Cooling treatment can only be carried out in a neonatal intensive care unit as the cooling equipment needed is only located in these specialist units, and babies will need to be overseen by specially trained clinicians.
The neonatal unit in Southampton treats around 900 babies a year from across the South Coast, of which 24 of these patients present with HIE.
In Southampton we are working together to find a means of adapting existing MRI scans, which babies with HIE must undertake after treatment, to more accurately diagnosis those with moderate or severe variants.
At present, MRI scans show the brain injury which HIE has caused, however it doesn't give clinicians enough detail for them to accurately provide a long term prognosis. A more sensitive test will give more information, and in turn improve the information they are able to give to parents.
Southampton Hospital Charity are fundraising for this vital research project.
The main investment will be in funding the time for radiographers to carry out the scans and for a researcher to collect, analyse and report on results.
Help us raise £7,800 to make life better for every baby born with HIE.