Bubbles help prem babies breathe

A revolutionary new "bubble" system is being used by US doctors to treat the underdeveloped lungs of premature babies.

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Typically, premature infants under three pounds need a ventilator to keep their lungs open.

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But recently, Harris Methodist Fort Worth in the US started using the Bubble CPAP system and the need for the ventilator has plummeted.

CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The bubbles, in a saline solution, allow air into the lungs through a tube attached to the baby’s nose.

Doctor Randy Grubbs helped bring the treatment to the North Texas hospital after he saw it used in another medical centre.

Studies show the bubble treatment offers fewer complications, like chronic lung disease.

“Gentle vibrations to the chest that provides what we call chest physical therapy that basically helps to maintain more of the lung inflated,” said Dr. Randall Rubbs.

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“We’re confident this is going to improve long-term outcome for these babies,” Grubbs said.

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