Unfortunately this newborn baby has suffered lack of blood and oxygen supply around the time of birth. He is now being treated in the neonatal intensive care with cooling treatment and needs very close monitoring during this period by the doctors and nurses treating him. Here, his father watches him.
During the cooling treatment, babies are monitored carefully and continuously using different instruments as shown here. Along with the standard monitoring, we can use our near infrared instrument to gain further information about the changes in brain metabolism.
The engineers (left) work with the doctor (right) to make sure that the machine is working correctly while a baby is being monitored.
The black cables are carrying light from our instrument CYRIL to shine onto the baby’s brain
Our instrument CYRIL records the spectrum of light coming from the baby’s brain and calculates changes in the blood oxygenation and metabolism in the brain. These are displayed on the laptop so that the doctors can ‘see’ the brain metabolism at the cotside. The brain metabolism is related to the level of brain injury.
After completing the cooling treatment, babies are transported to MRI scanner in a specialised transport incubator. During the scan, different chemicals are measured in brain which gives us an idea about the level of brain injury and the changes in brain metabolism.
We are monitoring many babies who have brain injury with CYRIL. This research will assess the potential for CYRIL to be able to diagnose the level of brain injury in the first crucial days of life, while the baby is still undergoing intensive care. We hope that one day, doctors will be able to use CYRIL to help diagnose and treat brain injury.