A new treatment known as ‘brain washing’ could dramatically reduce disability in newborn babies. The process involves removing toxic fluid potentially harmful to infants born early and suffering from large brain haemorrhages.
The technique, pioneered by doctors in Bristol, reduces the pressure put on the brain and for the first time has been shown to benefit newborn babies suffering from the condition.
Professor Andrew Whitelaw and paediatric neurosurgeon Ian Pople have researched the condition, known as hydrocephalus, for the last 20 years.
Two tubes are inserted into the ventricles in the brain of a premature baby suffering from a large hemorrhage and expanded ventricles.
One tube continuously drains out fluid while the other tube lets clear fluid flow in. The pressure in the brain is measured continuously and more fluid is drained out than flowed in so the brain slowly decompresses.
When the fluid draining out has cleared, the two tubes are removed. The whole procedure takes about three days.
Full story with news video here.