Doctors at the University of Kansas hospital managed to save the life of a 3-week-old baby by treating her life-threatening condition with “infant superglue.”
An MRI had revealed that Ashlyn Julian, a 3-week-old baby from Olathe, Kan., was suffering from an aneurysm that was causing bleeding in her brain, the Associated Press reports. Dr. Koji Ebersole, a neurosurgeon, told the Kansas City Star that aneurysms are rare in infants, as they usually develop over many years. As a result, there are no infant-sized tools available to brain surgeons, making Julian’s condition all the more serious.
Still, when Julian suffered a brain hemorrhage last week, Ebersole and his team knew that they could no longer delay treatment. Rather than opening the infant’s skull to treat the aneurysm—a standard procedure, but one normally reserved for adults—Ebersole and his team decided last Wednesday to operate on Julian’s brain from the inside, AP reports.
Using a tiny catheter inserted into the baby’s right hip, Ebersole and his team navigated their way into her brain. Next, using a sensitive brain-imaging machine, the doctors located the aneurysm itself. Finally, the team used the “infant superglue”—a sterile, surgical compound—to form an internal cast, sealing the damaged blood vessel, AP reports.
"It's literally the same compound as the superglue you'd find in the store," Ebersole told the Star. The entire procedure took less than 45 minutes. Despite the relative ease of the procedure, doctors at the KU hospital believe that it has been performed less than 20 times, AP reports. In fact, this may have been the first time that the “infant superglue” was used to repair an aneurysm in a baby’s brain.
By last Friday, 3-week-old Ashlyn was convalescing in her hospital room, with her emotional parents at her side. "I can't express how incredibly lucky and graced we are," Gina Julian, her mother, told the Star.