World-first Bedside Genetic Test to Prevent Babies Going Deaf
[Source: Medical X-Press]
A world-first genetic test, partly developed by University of Manchester scientists that could save the hearing of hundreds of babies each year, has been developed and successfully piloted in the NHS.
Taking just 25 minutes, the bedside machine identifies whether a critically ill baby admitted to intensive care has a gene that could result in permanent hearing loss if they are treated with a common emergency antibiotic.
The new swab test technique would replace a test that traditionally took several days and could save the hearing of 180 babies in England alone every year.
People admitted to intensive care are usually given an antibiotic called Gentamicin within 60 minutes. While Gentamicin is used to safely treat about 100,000 babies a year, one in 500 babies carry the gene that can make it cause permanent hearing loss.
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