Superglue has been credited with saving an infant's life.
Last Wednesday, a team of doctors in Kansas City, Mo., administered a drop of surgical superglue into the brain of 3-week-old Ashlyn Julian to help repair an aneurysm that was hemorrhaging. Without the groundbreaking treatment, the baby would've likely died.
According to NBC affiliate KSHB, Ashlyn had been brought into the hospital by her parents last week after the newborn suffered a seizure and began vomiting.
“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," Ashlyn's mom, Gina, told CNN.
After conducting some tests, doctors found the aneurysm in the middle of Ashlyn's brain.
As surgeons explained to Ashlyn's parents, brain aneurysms are so rare in infants that there are basically no surgical tools small enough for doctors to use for surgery. They had to work very carefully, with unconventional tools.
"The difficulty is, on a child so small, any amount of blood loss represents a significant percentage of her overall blood volume. So a surgery on the brain to approach something that wants to bleed -- we could have been in a situation with bleeding we could not keep up with, and that would have been life-threatening," University of Kansas Hospital's Dr. Koji Ebersole, a pediatric neurosurgeon who operated on Ashlyn, told CNN.
In the end, Ebersole and his team decided to use the extremely rare method of using surgical superglue.
According to KSHB, surgeons managed to "fish the smallest adult catheter through an artery from Ashlyn's leg to her brain" before threading a micro-wire through it to deliver a drop of superglue to the affected blood vessel.
The glue dried in seconds, the Kansas City Star explains, creating "an internal cast" that sealed the aneurysm.
“It’s literally the same compound as the superglue you’d find in the store,” Ebersole told the newspaper.
Doctors believe this is the first time superglue has been used to repair an aneurysm in an infant.
“I can’t express how incredibly lucky and graced we are,” Ashlyn’s mother told the Star in the wake of her child's miracle surgery.
Ashlyn, who was born on May 16, is expected to make a full recovery.