Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Low Umbilical Cord pH Tied to Death, Brain Damage

(HealthDay News) -- Babies born with low blood pH in their umbilical cord appear to bear a higher risk for infant death, brain damage and/or childhood cerebral palsy, a review of prior research reveals.

The finding, reported online May 14 in BMJ, stems from an analysis conducted by researchers out of Birmingham Women's Hospital in England.

The authors note that when a baby is deprived of adequate oxygen during delivery -- a condition known as hypoxia -- umbilical cord blood pH drops. (Since normal blood pH indicates that the blood's acid and alkaline gases are balanced, a decrease in pH means the umbilical cord blood is becoming too acidic.)

Although hypoxia is the most common cause of brain damage, particularly among premature and very small babies, researchers previously had not established a clear association between low umbilical cord blood pH and related health complications. Read more...

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