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Breathing a life-Sustaining liquid.

A new oxygen-bearing lubricant, called perflubron, has been tested on 13 premature infants with severe surfactant deficiency. The 9/12/96 issue of the New England Journal Of Medicine reported that eight survived following the treatment who would otherwise have been expected to die.

Colorless and odorless, perflubron can be used in place of surfactant to bathe the lungs. But because it carries 25 times as much oxygen as blood plasma does, perflubron helps the lungs exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen.

These preliminary findings, the first reported from a 40-center trial of 480 premature babies, indicate that infants on a respirator can be sustained on perflubron for 76 hours. Thereafter, use of the lubricant can be discontinued, and infants can ultimately be shifted to room air. The therapy might also be used to deliver drugs to the airways and thus hasten recovery from serious diseases.

-- Science News, 9/29/96
COPYRIGHT 1997 Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Publication:Special Delivery
Date:Jan 1, 1997
Words:150
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