New hope for premature babies
Researchers think they’ve come up with an idea that could change the way we treat premature babies.
By Livia Gamble
April 27 2017
It sounds like something out of a movie, but researchers think they’ve come up with an idea that could change the way we treat premature babies.
Researchers from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia created and tested their Biobag on premature lambs, keeping them alive outside of their mothers for up to a month, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
"These infants have an urgent need for a bridge between the mother’s womb and the outside world," Dr Alan W. Flake, a fetal surgeon and director of the Center for Fetal Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) said in a statement.
"If we can develop an extra-uterine system to support growth and organ maturation for only a few weeks," he added, "we can dramatically improve outcomes for extremely premature babies."
While the system is still in the animal testing phase, researchers are hopeful the bag will be a viable option for premature babies in the future.
"This system is potentially far superior to what hospitals can currently do for a 23-week-old baby born at the cusp of viability," Flake said.
"This could establish a new standard of care for this subset of extremely premature infants."