New 'Brain Washing' Treatment Saves Babies' Lives

08/03/2010 11:51 | Updated 22 May 2015

A pioneering new treatment could prove to dramatically reduce disability in newborn babies. The treatment involves removing toxic fluid from premature babies suffering from brain haemorrhages. This then takes some of the pressure off the brain, reducing the risk of disability.

The treatment is led by doctors in Bristol, based on research on hydrocephalus taken over the last twenty years.

The treatment works by placing two tubes into the ventricles of the brain after a newborn has suffered from a brain haemorrhage. One tube sucks out all the fluid, whilst the other pumps clear fluid in. Once the fluid leaving the brain is clear, the process is complete. It usually takes around three days.

The successful trial has been published in the Journal of the American Academy of Paediatrics and is one of the first treatments identified to help very premature babies.

In recent studies of 77 premature babies suffering with brain haemorrhages, those who underwent the treatment were more likely to recover without a disability.

The hope is that the treatment will be set up as a service at Southmead Hospital in Bristol.

Source: Sky News

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