A premature baby’s risk of developing cerebral palsy can be substantially reduced if the mother is given a dose of magnesium sulfate just before the delivery.
According to a team of Australian researchers, the technique seems to work very well in the case of babies born before 30 weeks of gestation. They believe that the technique, if used correctly, could help prevent approximately 150 cases of cerebral palsy every year. In fact, doctors have been calling the discovery one of the biggest advancements in the prevention of cerebral palsy.
Hawaii birth injury lawyers have been aware of studies into the beneficial effects of magnesium sulfate for a while now. However, it was only after a major study conducted in Australia and New Zealand in 2003 that researchers were able to see the significant effects of magnesium sulfate on a baby’s chances of being born without any lasting disabilities or conditions like cerebral palsy. Since 2003, the findings of that research have been confirmed by similar findings from around the world.
This treatment is not so widely used in hospitals, but the researchers say that administering magnesium sulfate to the mother just before birth could substantially reduce the risk of cerebral palsy by as much as 30%. Some hospitals in Australia have already begun to use the therapy in order to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy.
That doesn’t mean that magnesium sulfate is a magic cure for cerebral palsy. There is the potential for side effects. For instance, the woman may suffer a sudden drop in blood pressure, or may suffer hypertension. These complications can severely exacerbate what is already a delicate premature birth.
However, the researchers believe that the side effects can be managed properly in order to reduce the risks to the mother.