A special Christmas for baby girl saved at Seattle Children’s Hospital

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A baby girl is home for Christmas after doctors at Seattle Children's turned to a drug that isn't approved by the FDA.
Four-month-old Tatiana Saianna was born Aug. 29. Doctors quickly discovered she'd inhaled meconium- amniotic fluid mixed with her stool. Her lungs collapsed. Saiaana was transported to Seattle Children's and put on an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. The machine did the work for her heart and lungs for a month. Doctors were able to see her lungs still weren't developing, it was unlikely she could survive off the machine.
Her parents were told to prepare to say goodbye.
"I wasn't going to give up on my daughter," said Bruce Saiaana, Tatiana's father.

"She was still fighting so we had to fight for her too," added her mother, Elise Saiaana.

Seattle Children's neonatologist Dr. Kendra Smith suggested trying Perflubron, a liquid ventilation drug that was used in the '90s. The drug was scrapped after the manufacturer found it had little use in adults. While it isn't approved by the FDA, in the United States it is approved for use in Canada and Europe. Perflubron is an oxygen-rich liquid that fills and expands the lungs.

Seattle Children's got a waiver--an emergency exception-- it was Tatiana's last resort. Doctors tried tiny amounts of Perflubron to carefully expand Saiaana's lungs. At first it didn't work, doctors again told Saiaana's parents they might lose her, but then they started to see improvement.
Tatiana got home from the hospital on Dec. 15, she's breathing on her own.
"The gift of having her home is the only gift we wanted this Christmas," said Elise Saiaana watching her baby girl.