Shop
01156

A life saver for prem babies

 
Life-Saving Lung Treatment for Premature Babies - Perhaps one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our time was developed by a New Zealander, Graham "Mont" Collingwood Liggins.
Perhaps one of the most important medical breakthroughs of our time was developed by a New Zealander, Graham "Mont" Collingwood Liggins.
 
Born in Thames in 1926, the fourth son of a doctor, Liggins was responsible for discovering a life-saving treatment for premature babies, after showing that foetal lung development could be speeded up by giving steroids to women experiencing early labour, enabling premature newborn babies to breathe independently and survive.
 
His research has changed medical practice and in turn saved hundreds of thousands of lives worldwide.
 
Liggins pioneering discovery was born out of a lengthy observation of lambs on his neighbours’ farm. He noticed that the lungs of premature lambs normally sank in water because they had failed to fill with air. However, if the ewe had been given corticosteroids prior to delivery, the lungs inflated normally and floated – the steroids had stimulated production of a soapy substance, surfactant, which was vital for lung aeration.
 
He knew that premature human babies also lacked surfactant, and could develop a frequently fatal condition known as respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Over several years Liggins and Ross Howie, a paediatrician colleague, randomly allocated steroids or placebos to more than 1,000 women in premature labour in a bid to prove their theory. Both RDS and mortality fell dramatically in the experimental group.
 
Liggin’s treatment was not accepted overnight, being rejected on the grounds that it would be of little general interest!  However after lengthy campaigning, those in authority eventually saw sense and this simple treatment now saves the lives of many thousands of premature babies every year. What’s more, it only costs a few cents to administer!
Image source: Wellcome Trust
Enquire

You might also be interested in ...

Tips on travelling with kids who have asthma

Tips on travelling with kids who have asthma

Travelling with kids who have asthma can still be enjoyable if you take a few precautions. Whether you are heading off to the beach, the countryside or even overseas, good preparation can help keep your child’s asthma at bay while you’re away. Check out these helpful tips.
Managing parents separation anxiety

Managing parents separation anxiety

It’s not uncommon for young children to suffer from separation anxiety, but parents separation anxiety is common too, especially when it comes to leaving their little one for the first few times. Check out these tips on how to manage separation anxiety and make leaving your child a little bit easier.

join us

Join us on social media for all our latest news.
facebook twitter pinterestInstagram
 

sign up

Sign up and receive our latest newsletters.
First/Last Name*
Email*
Town/City*
 

contact us

mailinfo@under5s.co.nz
 
advertise with us