Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New System May Allow Xenon Use To Protect Brain In Critically Ill Newborns

Date:
July 26, 2009
Source:
International Anesthesia Research Society
Summary:
Breathing xenon gas can help protect the infant brain from damage caused by oxygen deprivation, but the xenon's high cost and scarcity has precluded its widespread use. A newly developed "closed circuit system" may make xenon feasible, safe, and cost efficient for use in protecting the brains of critically ill infants, according to a new study.

Breathing xenon gas can help protect the infant brain from damage caused by oxygen deprivation, but the xenon's high cost and scarcity has precluded its widespread use. A newly developed "closed circuit system" may make xenon feasible, safe, and cost efficient for use in protecting the brains of critically ill infants, according to a study in the August issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS).

Related Articles


Led by Dr. John Dingley of University of Wales, Swansea, a U.K. research team introduces a new method of giving xenon to newborn infants with birth defects and other life-threatening conditions requiring surgery and anesthesia. The usual reason for newborns to undergo surgery is a critical problem with the infants' breathing or circulation that prevents their tissues from getting enough oxygen. This lack of oxygen is particularly damaging to the brain, with long-term consequences for the child.

Although it is chemically considered an inert gas, xenon has profound biological effects—in high concentrations, it can induce unconsciousness. For several years, researchers have known that xenon provides protection against some forms of low-oxygen injury to the brain. However, because xenon is extremely expensive, its use is currently limited to a few experimental centers.

Closed-Circuit System Allows Xenon to Be Given for $2 per Hour

To address this problem, Dr. Dingley and colleagues designed a closed-circuit xenon delivery system. The system takes advantage of the fact that uptake of xenon by the lung is very low—when a given amount of xenon is breathed in, almost all of it is breathed out. The new system, fitted to a conventional newborn ventilator, essentially recaptures the exhaled xenon so that the infant can re-breathe it. The system adds precise amounts of oxygen and other gases as needed.

The researchers tested their closed-circuit xenon delivery system on newborn pigs. They found that they could precisely control the depth of anesthesia, while delivering exactly the right amount of oxygen. The piglets had stable vital signs and recovered without any complications. The xenon system could be used with our without cooling of body temperature (hypothermia)—previously the only technique known to protect the brain in infants with low-oxygen injury.

Using the closed circuit system, the researchers estimate that xenon could be used for surgery in critically ill newborns for as little as $2 per hour. This would allow "responsible use of a restricted global xenon supply in the maximum number of clinical cases per year," according to Dr. Dingley and colleagues. They believe that the simple design and operational cost of the system should make the delivery of xenon—once considered prohibitively expensive for routine medical use—safe and inexpensive for newborns requiring surgery and anesthesia for life-threatening birth defects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Anesthesia Research Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

International Anesthesia Research Society. "New System May Allow Xenon Use To Protect Brain In Critically Ill Newborns." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724214301.htm>.
International Anesthesia Research Society. (2009, July 26). New System May Allow Xenon Use To Protect Brain In Critically Ill Newborns. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724214301.htm
International Anesthesia Research Society. "New System May Allow Xenon Use To Protect Brain In Critically Ill Newborns." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090724214301.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

Studying Effects of Music on Dementia Patients

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is studying the popular Music and Memory program to see if music, which helps improve the mood of Alzheimer's patients, can also reduce the use of prescription drugs for those suffering from dementia. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

Techy Tots Are Forefront of London's Baby Show

AP (Oct. 28, 2014) Moms and Dads get a more hands-on approach to parenting with tech-centric products for raising their little ones. (Oct. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Cocoa Could Be As Good For Memory As It Is For A Sweet Tooth

Newsy (Oct. 27, 2014) Researchers have come up with another reason why dark chocolate is good for your health. A substance in the treat can reportedly help with memory. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

Five-Year-Olds Learn Coding as Britain Eyes Digital Future

AFP (Oct. 27, 2014) Coding has become compulsory for children as young as five in schools across the UK. Making it the first major world economy to overhaul its IT teaching and put programming at its core. Duration: 02:19 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins