This could be an incredible life-saving device
Pregnancy and child birth continue to be difficult for women across the globe; it’s believed that premature births are actually on the rise. While parents have plenty of technological options while trying to conceive a child, they don’t have quite as many options if things go wrong while the fetus is growing within the womb, even though there have been huge advances in in-utero surgery. Scientists have been working tirelessly on a device that would give premature children a better chance at life, and they finally found a way to do it.
The World Health Organization has estimated that 15 million babies are born prematurely each year worldwide, and they believe that the number is increasing. In 2015, one million children died because of pre-term birth complications.
Babies born pre-maturely have a high-mortality rate, and they often deal with life-long complications if they survive. So a system that would allow the child to develop as if they weren’t born yet after being removed from their mother could help their odds.
“These infants have an urgent need for a bridge between the mother’s womb and the outside world. If we can develop an extra-uterine system to support growth and organ maturation for only a few weeks, we can dramatically improve outcomes for extremely premature babies,” explains Alan Flake, the lead author of a paper on fake wombs technology.
Scientists at the Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have been working diligently for three years to create a system that would allow pre-term birthed babies to continue growing in a fake womb so that they would have a better chance of surviving and having a better quality of life.