In what could prove to be a historic moment in pediatric health, a British baby was revived after undergoing an experimental xenon gas treatment that prevented brain damage.
Sarah Joyce gave birth to Riley after an emergency Caesarean section at the Royal United Hospital in Bath but the baby had no pulse and was not breathing. He was then immediately shifted St Michael's Hospital in Bristol where the parents agreed to undergo the experimental treatment after being given a 50-50 chance of permanent brain damage.
Developed by Marianne Thoreson, who is from University of Bristol and Swansea University's Dr John Dingley, the treatment allowed doctors to cool down Riley's body temperature to 33.5°C after which he was made to inhale xenon gas through a machine invented by Dr Dingley for three hours.
Dr Dingley revealed that the device could potentially save thousands of lives across the globe since there has not been any effective method of delivery of xenon gas. "Xenon is a precious and finite resource and difficult to extract so it can cost up to Ģ30 a litre. As ventilated newborns breathe many litres of air per minute, any xenon-based treatment would be impossibly expensive without an economical delivery method" he added.