Italian scientists designed kidney dialysis machine for newborn babies. The study was published in the medical journal The Lancet on 23 May 2014.
Prof Claudio Ronco, from the International Renal Research Institute at San Bortolo Hospital in Vicenza, designed and developed the new machine to treat babies and small infants weighing between 2kg and 10kg.
The machine is capable to safely treat a newborn baby with multiple organ failure. Existing dialysis machines are only designed for adults and have to be adapted for use in newborns. Dialysis machines for adults can cause complications when used in very young children.
The new continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) machine named CARPEDIEM (Cardio-Renal Pediatric Dialysis Emergency Machine) was created to overcome the problems of existing dialysis machines.
The new machine replaces the lost function of the kidney by removing excess fluid and urine from the body through blood vessels.
It allows the use of a much smaller-sized catheter than normal which could prevent damage to blood vessels in babies.
It is estimated that 18% of low-birth weight infants are affected by acute kidney injury and it is increasingly common in children admitted to hospital with an incidence of almost 20% in children admitted to intensive care.
Who: Italian scientists
When: 22 May 2014
Why: for newborn babies