To live we need to breathe. Prior to being born we carry this activity out through the placenta and subsequently by means of our lungs. In normal development, the lungs of the foetus are filled with amniotic liquid and, on being born, the first cry activates this respiration surface. But the main problem that premature babies have is that their lungs are not well formed. Moreover, they often lack surfactant, a compound formed by proteins and lipids that avoids the lungs folding in on themselves before the baby gets stronger.
The respirators usually employd in these cases provide artificial surfactant, but not always in sufficient amounts to provide correct therapy. In order to alleviate this situation, the Nautical School at the University of the Basque Country has developed a liquid respiration respirator.
The machine simulates placentary respiration by filling the lungs of the premature baby with liquid and then the respirator introduces and extracts the required quantity of liquid at a suitable respiratory rhythm. The amount of liquid administered is usually in the order of 10 millilitres per kilogram of the baby’s weight.
Irati Kortabitarte | alfa
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