Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take: Viagra saves newborns

STAFF WRITER, WITH CNA

Two babies born with pulmonary arterial hypertension were recently saved by Viagra because of its effect in relaxing muscles, according to officials at the China Medical University Hospital in Taichung City. Lin Hong-chin (林鴻志), deputy director of the hospital's Pediatric Section, said that the babies suffered from diaphragmatic hernia in the left membrane between the thoracic and abdominal cavities, causing congenital damage to the heart and left lung lobe. At birth, they were found to be in serious respiratory distress and sent to the pediatric intensive care unit for nitric oxide (NO) treatment to help relax and smooth muscles in the vessels and relieve the arterial tension, Lin said. However, Lin said that the cost for NO treatment runs as high as NT$6,000 per day. He then remembered reading an article about doctors in Denver Children's Hospital in Colorado using Viagra to help wean infant patients with pulmonary hypertension from NO, hence came the idea to try Viagra on his patients.

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