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Zhejiang doctor saves newborn baby using Viagra

By Gao Yinan (People's Daily Online)    13:26, May 19, 2016
Zhejiang doctor saves newborn baby using Viagra
(File Photo)

A neonatal doctor at Yongkang First People's Hospital in eastern China's Zhejiang province administered the anti-impotence drug Viagra to a preterm baby with breathing difficulties. The doctor’s quick thinking ultimately saved the newborn.

Ding Dang (a pseudonym) was born at only 34 weeks. Before his birth, several of his unborn siblings passed away. For this reason, his parents were both extra excited and extra nervous about his arrival. However, Ding Dang suffered serious breathing difficulties after his birth.

The baby’s parents asked the medical staff to save their newborn at any cost. They gave the baby expensive treatments and ventilator therapy, but Ding Dang's physical condition gradually worsened, and his skin turned blue.

The doctor suspected the baby might be suffering from persistent pulmonary hypertension. If not promptly treated, the elevated pulmonary artery pressure associated with this disease could stop blood supply to the lungs and cause the newborn to suffocate.

The current international treatment standard for this situation is inhaled nitric oxide, but the drug is only available in several major hospitals in Shanghai and Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang province.

Ding Dang's critical condition gave doctors no time for a referral. Once standard intensive treatment had failed, the doctors began using Viagra to dilate the blood vessels supplying the baby's lungs in the hope of reducing pulmonary hypertension.

Fortunately, after 17 days of treatment, Ding Dang was healthy enough to leave the hospital with his parents. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor:Bianji,Wu Chengliang)

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