Could Caffeine Help Preemies Reach a Healthy Birth Rate

We are constantly hearing medical reports that caffeine is bad for our bodies. But if you're a premature infant trying to reach a healthy birthrate, it's just what the doctor ordered. Caffeine could be used as an alternative medicine for preemies.

Most preemies biggest problem is breathing because their lungs are underdeveloped. Doctors have discovered caffeine therapy helps and is much easier on their system than traditional drugs like "The-Off-A-Lin."

A tiny droplet of caffeine is added to a babies formula which is fed through a tube. The caffeine stimulates the baby's brain center that controls respiration and heart rate. The trick to this therapy is knowing when to add or decrease the dosage and by how much.

Thanks to the funding from the Children's Miracle Network, this process just got easier within the last year. A high tech machine tests the infants caffeine level in about 15 minutes, which runs the infants blood sample through the machine and caffeine levels are determined.

Most of the preemies are weaned off caffeine therapy before they go home which is typically close to their original due date.