Stories about: cardiopulmonary bypass

Inhaled hydrogen could protect the brain during heart-lung bypass

hydrogen gas
ILLUSTRATION: ELENA HARTLEY / BOSTON CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Newborns with life-threatening congenital heart disease often undergo open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, which carries a risk of damaging the brain. Critically ill newborns who are placed on ECMO are at even higher risk for brain injury.  Hypothermia, or cooling the body, can improve neurologic outcomes, but has limitations.

A new study in a large animal model suggests that adding a dash of hydrogen to the usual mix of respiratory gases could further protect babies’ brains.

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