Story excerpt provided by Cincinnati Enquirer.
Written by Josh Pichler.
Dr. Jeffrey Whitsett has spent more than 40 years caring for extremely premature babies, and seen firsthand the stress that situation inflicts on families.
Babies born before 28 weeks typically can’t breathe without help. They are treated with surfactant to help their lungs open, and put on ventilators. The ventilators sustain life, but can also damage lung tissue and cause the babies to develop a serious condition called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Whitsett is co-director of the Perinatal Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. His research led to the creation of Airway Therapeutics, a startup that just took a big step toward helping thousands of preemies avoid BPD.
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Originally published April 19, 2014.