Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You were working for more than a decade on the medication in the laboratory, then one day you received a phone call from a doctor who cared for a dying, prematurely born baby. They asked you to use this medication on a human for the first time. It was a very dramatic experience. Could you please tell more about that experience of bringing your medication from the bench to the bedside?I and my colleague, Bengt Robertson, we were both laboratory doctors. He worked as a pathologist and he worked with in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. Mostly clinical chemists. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I worked with phospholipid isolation and separation. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We started to talk about this, to make the surfactant in 1980. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I had my skills in phospholipids and he did in-vitro and in-vivo experiments. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We worked together. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We got a good phospholipid preparation, We tested it in vitro and in in vivo in premature rabbits and it worked very well. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That made one of many rabbit experiments. Then they called us at the site. Said, “We have a little boy, he weighs 785 grams, about that. “He was born in week 27 of pregnancy. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We have done everything we can do. He will die in a couple of hours. Do you have any surfactant?” “We know that you work with that, do you have any?” At that time, we had no surfactant. But I had in the tube some purified surfactant and I had it in an organic solution. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I evaporated the organic solvents.[Anton] Specifically for that baby?For that baby. You could not smell any chloroform in that purified form. Bengt Robertson and I discussed, is it possible for us to give the medication? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. What will happen if the baby will die? Dr. Anton Titov, MD. “But we take this chance”, he said. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I suspended it in the physiological saline and we said to the boss of the pediatric department, “Give this to the little boy.” within couple of minutes, they gave the medication into the trachea. Within a couple of minutes. The blue baby became pink and it started at 85% oxygen in the respirator and after one hour, it could breathe room air Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. This was dramatic change within minutes and in one hour.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. It was a very dramatic effect. It was a boy born at 27 weeks, weighing just 700 grams, couple of hours from death, being blue. Then you give first time ever, your just-purified surfactant, of course. The chief of the hospital gives. But it is your co-invented medication, with your collaborator Dr. Robertson. It is a dramatic change. Within a few minutes. The baby becomes pink. An hour later can breathe normal air instead of 85% oxygen. This is very dangerous.Yes.That is an absolutely dramatic effect. How did you feel?It is very difficult to say. It was so dramatic. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I have never seen something like that in all my life. Dr. Tore Curstedt. I was near tears at that time to see this change in a little, little boy that expected to die in a couple of hours.you observed the boy with your own eyes, sitting next to the clock in the ICU?Yes, yes.chief of surgery, chief of the hospital was probably there. Who else was there?But you see, at that time, we thought we had good product. But we were laboratory doctors. Sometimes we could have this to the rest of the world, we must have a network. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We had two, three things that are very important. A good medication is very important. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We also said, we must have a network of neonatologists. In Europe, we must have that in all Europe. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We must have the company that can produce this medication in the future. Dr. Tore Curstedt. We must have meetings, research meetings. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That continue every year at least. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That we started at that time. Then we must also of course have all permission to give this medication to these premature children.
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