A radical therapy to save newborn babies who may die from a birth complication caused by inhaling their own waste, has been unveiled by Australian researcher.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome (MAS), caused when a baby's first bowel movement occurs wrongly before birth, affects around 10 percent of all newborns who require intensive care in China, where up to four in 10 babies born with MAS die from it. It is also a major issue in India.
According to the head of a multinational trial of a new lung cleaning technique for newborns, Peter Dargaville, the new trail involves putting about 50 to 60 ml amount of cleansing fluid into the baby's lungs, reports English.news.cn.
The fluid, a dilution of a medicated liquid otherwise used to fortify lungs in premature babies, is syringed into the MAS baby's airway.
After some chest massage, the fluid, which has collected the waste, will be sucked out. The process takes around one minute.
"Many neonatologists, and people involved in neonatal intensive care, gasp when they see the video of the procedure because normally we are trying to keep the lungs dry," said Dr Dargaville, from Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, as saying.
"It is a radical departure from what we would normally consider to be appropriate care," Dargaville added.
The trial involved 66 severely ill MAS babies, and treated across 20 neonatal intensive care wards in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, China's Taiwan and Japan.
The findings of the trial were recently published in The Journal of Paediatrics.