British doctors say they have prevented brain injury in a baby boy who was born in critical condition by using an inert gas, according to the Associated Press (AP).
The doctors at St. Michael’s Hospital in Bristol said Friday that treatment with xenon gas is experimental and has not been used elsewhere.
Riley Joyce, the baby boy who faced critical condition, could not breath or maintain a pulse when he was born, showing signs of brain injury.
The doctors say they resuscitated him and used xenon gas to cool his brain and reduce the risk of permanent damage. Xenon is a rare, inert gas that is found in normal air.
Laboratory tests have shown that the gas can double the protective effect of cooling the brain.
Riley was alert and eating after just a week, according to an AP report.
Doctors plan to use xenon on at least 12 more babies before they start a bigger trial.
Image Caption: Vial of glowing ultrapure xenon. Courtesy Wikipedia
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