Thanks to funding from Telethon, Telethon Kids Researchers are capturing babies’ breath in a bid to prevent long-term lung health complications in babies born prematurely.
Chronic lung disease is the main complications for babies born preterm – leading to breathing problems, constant infections, problems with exercise and even premature aging.
Researchers have captured the breath of preterm babies as well as healthy babies aged 12-18 months old over a period of 3 years. They developed a non-evasive way to capture the baby’s exhaled breath condensate – even in very preterm babies where it was previously not thought possible to capture enough vapour from their little lungs for analysis.
After analysing the samples in the lab, they have been able to pin point symptoms like inflammation and oxidative stress – all indicators for lung disease in these preterm babies – as well determine the disease severity. This early diagnosis tool is paving way for better monitoring, earlier interventions and ultimately better outcomes for preterm babies.