Partial Liquid Ventilation for critically ill newborns


Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, the University at Buffalo


Bradley Fuhrman, MD, University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences professor of pediatrics and anesthesia and chief of pediatric critical care at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, in conjunction with pediatric critical care doctors at UB.


Prior to the development of Partial Liquid Ventilation (PLV), conventional therapy involved increasing the pressure and oxygen concentration inside a baby’s lungs in an effort to force more oxygen into the bloodstream. This sometimes caused permanent lung damage and resulted in a chronic disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. PLV introduces an oxygen-rich liquid called perflubron into the baby’s lungs. The liquid allows the lungs to inflate with less pressure than air, and permits oxygen and carbon dioxide to pass through the air sacs and into the bloodstream more easily and efficiently.


The doctors at UB completed this revolutionary technique in the mid-1990s. Reaching this milestone took approximately 30 years.