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Newborn Kept Alive with New Technique

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - A new approach for using an artificial lung is breathing life into a sick child.

Six-week-old Ronan Bush of Michigan is being kept alive at St. Louis Children’s Hospital with an artificial lung. Such a device has never before been used on such a young child as a temporary survival tool. The device is meant to be a bridge for Ronan, who suffers from a rare congenital disease that disrupts bloodflow in the lungs, as he waits for a transplant.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Pirooz Eghtesady at Children’s Hospital said the child will need a transplant in order to survive.

“We’re cautiously optimistic that we can support him for quite some time,” Eghtesady said. “We’re hoping that we can support him enough that he can get a lung. How long he can go, I have no idea.”

Ronan has survived for nearly a month on the device, which Eghtesady said proves that the use of artificial lungs on babies is a feasible option.

“[Ronan's case] gives a new option and a ray of hope for these babies, which is terrific,” he said. “Without this device, he would not be alive today.”

Ronan’s sister died of the same disease last year, when she was only four weeks old.

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