Superglue on brain saves baby's life

    8:00 AM, Jun 11, 2013   |    comments
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    LAWRENCE, Kans. (CNN) - A baby girl is alive thanks to the quick thinking and unusual treatment of doctors at the University of Kansas.

    They are crediting what they call surgical superglue for saving the life of a three-and-a-half week old girl. Ashlyn Julian was born with a rare and life-threatening condition; her mother didn't know what the problem was but she knew something wasn't right.

    "We go from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up," Gina Julian said. "And at that point we knew something was very wrong."

    She rushed her daughter to the emergency room for a second time in hopes of finding answers.

    "The ultrasound was as far as we made it because they saw something in her head at that point in time, so they decided to transfer her to a hospital that was better equipped for what was going on."

    Doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital found a brain aneurysm the size of an almond on a blood vessel that is as thin as angel hair pasta. Then it was a race against the clock to stop the bleeding.

    Bleeding in the brain is so rare in infants that there aren't even tools for the procedure. Her surgeon instead used a microcatheter as thin as a strand of hair to access the aneurysm.

    "The only way I could close that aneurysm with that small of an instrument was with the glue," explained Dr. Koji Ebersole.

    Ebersole was able to deposit this sterile glue sealing the blood vessel.

    "If you try to treat the baby without closing the aneurysm, meaning conservative treatment, support the baby, and hope that the baby will heal itself, most of those babies won't survive. So we had a strong reason to develop a plan to close the aneurysm," the doctor said.

    Doctors and the family are pleased with the results. The breathing tube was taken out the next day and little Ashlyn has been improving since the procedure.

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