Baby Saved After Doctors Fix Super Glue in Her Brain
Baby Saved After Doctors Fix Super Glue in Her Brain (Representative Image) Credit: Reuters

Kansas City doctors saved a 20-day-old infant's life, with the help of surgical super glue.

Ashlyn Julian was born on 16 May as a perfectly healthy baby but her health started to deteriorate soon after being discharged from the hospital.

"She was probably around 10 days old, and she was sleeping a lot, and I understand that babies sleep a lot, but to the point that you couldn't wake her up to feed her," Gina Julian, the baby's mother, told CNN.

"We (went) from a baby that was very quiet to a baby that was screaming all the time and throwing up, and at that point we knew something was very wrong," Julian added.

Noticing the difference in their child's behaviour, the parents immediately took her to the Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. But, unable to find an obvious reason for the child's behaviour except for a raised spot on her head, the doctors decided on an ultrasound.

"The ultrasound was as far as we made it because they saw something in her head at that point in time," Julian said. Doctors spotted an aneurysm the size of an olive in the baby's brain.

The National Health Service Web site describes an aneurysm as a bulge in a blood vessel that's caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall. As the blood passes through the weakened blood vessel, the blood pressure causes it to bulge outwards like a balloon.

"We did not know what the right answer was. This was not a textbook case," Dr Koji Ebersole, a paediatric neurosurgeon at the University of Kansas Hospital said.

The standard treatment for brain aneurysms is to open the skull and operate but this was not advisable on so young a patient as Ashlyn. That led the doctors to an innovative solution, which required them to insert a micro-catheter into the child's neck to reach the ruptured aneurysm and seal it with a drop of glue.

The surgery turned out to be successful and the doctors were able to seal the vessel and stop it from bleeding in less than 45 minutes.

"It's literally the same compound as the superglue you'd find in the store," Ebersole said according to the Kansas City Star, "I think she's going to have a perfectly normal life."

Ashlyn will have to return for a check-up six months down the line but doctors are optimistic she need not worry about another aneurysm.