From routine to a race against time

What started out as a routine doctor visit for one mother soon turned into a race against time.

Alicia Barlow, who had only been in the Central Texas area for about four months, was excited about having her baby. That excitement, quickly turned to panic when doctors noticed during a sonogram that the baby’s heart rate had dropped drastically and physicians determined that the baby was in distress.

An immediate caesarean section (C-section) was required, and baby Sophia was born with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, more commonly known as birth asphyxia. This occurs when a child’s brain experiences oxygen deprivation.

This condition is really nasty and can lead to significant problems affecting brain growth and development.

Post-delivery, every minute counted, and through an extensive and collaborative effort between medical staffs, she was transported to McLane Children’s Hospital Scott & White where she underwent special care for a chance at life.

Sophia’s body temperature needed to be controlled at a certain level so that there wouldn’t be any swelling or issues. Through the use of a neonatal cooling blanket, baby Sophia Grace started her road to recovery.



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Venkata Raju, MD, is a neonatologist on the medical staff at McLane Children's Hospital Scott & White – Temple.

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From routine to a race against time