CHICAGO (WMAQ) – It’s small, but may have a huge impact by saving thousands of families the heartache of a baby born with cerebral palsy. It works by measuring the oxygen level of babies more accurately before birth. For every 100 babies born, one will be oxygen deprived. At its worst it can lead to crippling diseases like cerebral palsy. Right now doctors routinely monitor the fetal heartbeat and it gives some idea of the oxygen level, but not much. “It’s not extremely accurate,” said Dr. William Grobman. That can lead to unnecessary procedures like a c-section. So Dr. Bill Grobman is taking part in a nationwide study he hopes will lead to reducing the number of oxygen deprived babies by half. “This little end gets attached to the top of the baby’s head and this gets attached to the computer,” said Dr. Grobman. It’s a gold tip that can be inserted into the womb during labor. Preliminary European research shows it may measure oxygen levels so accurately that it can give a doctor a clear answer whether the baby needs to be delivered early. “It comes out with a large black box that indicates a greater chance of a problem with fetal oxygenation that needs to be attended to,” said Dr. Grobman. So far doctors at Northwestern have used the device on 65 women. But it may be several years before the study is completed.