Dr. Curstedt, you invented a medication called Curosurf that helps to save lives, millions of babies around the world now. Would you please briefly describe what is the problem that your medication so successfully treats?Premature babies don’t have a component called surfactant. If they don’t have surfactant, they cannot breathe. Because this surfactant lines the alveoli. The alveoli don’t collapse during expiration and the medication makes it easier for alveoli to expand during inspiration. If the babies can survive two, three days, they will start to produce their own surfactant.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. The key is these first several days of life?The key is the two, three, four first days of life. Usually you have to give this exogenous surfactant once, twice, or perhaps three times. Not more than that. The half-life time for this material is one day, one to two days.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. The medication that you co-invented only needs to be given once, twice or three times to a prematurely born baby. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That makes all the difference in saving the baby’s life.Yes. Perhaps 40% of the babies need the medication only once. Perhaps the other 40 to 60%, need the medication two or three times.how does the medication work?The medication will diminish the surface tension in the lungs and it will line the alveoli. It will increase the possibility for the alveoli to open up. The surfactant. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That will decrease the surface tension in the alveoli and it will line the alveoli. During inspiration, it makes it much easier to open up lungs. It will also prevent the alveoli to collapse during expiration.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. When you give this medication to the baby, to prematurely born baby, then it prevents the collapse of the alveoli and that is the hallmark of the respiratory distress syndrome.Yes, also to prevent the collapse. But also make it easier to open up so you can have oxygen into the lungs and oxygen taken up by the blood.It is a very seemingly simple action. But nevertheless it is such a dramatic effect and before Curosurf. The medication you invented, become available, babies died because the oxygen just couldn’t get to their tissues.Yeah, because they couldn’t take up oxygen. In that case, you have this premature baby. This are blue babies, they can’t take up the oxygen and they can’t use the oxygen, they have no oxygen to use for their metabolism. If you give the surfactant, you can see in a couple of minutes that the blue baby will be pink baby.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. It is a very easily observed and fast effectIve is very fast, in a couple of minutes. Two, three, four minutes.Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You invented the medication that can be given just once, twice, or three times to a prematurely born baby and it changes the life.It changes the life and it will get them to survive. Of course, it was already known before that you have the surface active material called surfactant. Dr. Mary Avery had shown in the late 1950s that premature babies had a lack of endogenous surfactant. Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. You have the connection with surface active material. Lack of surface active material in premature babies. But this was known in the late 1950s. But you can also see that in 1963, President Kennedy and his wife got a premature child. He was born in week 34.[Anton] Medical second opinion is important. Dr. Anton Titov, MD. It was not that premature…No it is not, it is a little premature.[Anton] Six weeks before term.Six weeks…the weight was 2.1 kilogram, so a big baby. He died of respiratory distress syndrome. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That even if they know about surfactant. Dr. Tore Curstedt. That it was impossible to give the babies exogenous surfactant at that time and that was 1963they were treated at one of the best US hospitals in Boston.Yes, it was. It was the president’s child, of course.At the best hospital.The best hospital. The best treatment at that time.somewhere, thousands of miles away, a young researcher, Dr. Tore Curstedt, started to work on how to fix that problem.Yes, I and my colleague, Dr. Bengt Robertson, we had started. Of course it was also in other places of the world, they also started with surfactant research.
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