Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is one of the most significant causes of morbidity, mortality, and lifelong disability in newborns. The diagnosis of neonatal HIE is based on the dysfunction of neurogenic signs and classification according to the Sarnat staging system, which evaluates conscious level, neuromuscular control, complex reflexes, autonomic function, seizures, electroencephalogram readings, and duration of neurologic sign. There is no standard treatment for neonatal HIE, but it is widely accepted that hypothermia therapy is a safe and effective method for treating neonates with HIE. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has recently been used to treat cases of neonatal HIE, especially herbal medicine prescriptions. Acupuncture is a common method used in TCM and is another promising therapy for neonatal HIE due to its demonstrated effective treatment of the disease in animal models. While there is a lack of direct evidence in clinical practice, we have observed acupuncture to be useful in adult HIE and in animal studies; therefore, we believe a clinical trial designed to evaluate the effectiveness of acupuncture in neonatal HIE treatment is worthwhile. Taken together, TCM is a promising technique that can be integrated into the conventional therapies for neonatal HIE.
Part of the book: Ischemic Stroke of Brain