A lack of oxygen at birth could be seen to seriously imperil the physical and mental health of a newborn baby and even cause death. However, a pioneering new treatment involving Xenon gas could be seen to help with this.
Permanent injury or disability, problems such as cerebral palsy can result from oxygen deprivation at birth. In a new procedure that was tried out in a British hospital, Xenon was used to reverse the effects of oxygen deprivation.
Baby Riley (Joyce) was born without a pulse but was thereafter resuscitated.
However, his brain waves were abnormal and he showed signs of oxygen deprivation. The baby was then hooked up to a xenon delivery system for three hours.
The parents of baby Riley were told that there was a 50:50 chance of permanent injury and disability in their newborn baby and were asked if they wanted to try and experiment treatment that could help.
This procedure has never been tried on anyone before; however the parents consented to the treatment to improve on his chances of a full recovery.
While earlier this process was seen to work in animal models, this is the first time that it was tried on a newborn infant. It has now been cleared for clinical trials.