A technique that “washes out” the brains of very ill, premature babies might actually help them live, according to a new study from Bristol University, which looked at 77 babies. The technique, which was pioneered at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital, drains the brain while introducing a new fluid, reducing the risks associated with brain bleeding, including brain damage or death. The technique requires close monitoring, the BBC reports, to ensure that pressure in the baby’s brain doesn’t go too high. In the study, of the 39 babies who got the treatment, 54 per cent of them had died or were severely disabled by age two, compared with 71 per cent who got the standard treatment. “This is the first time that any treatment anywhere in the world has been shown to benefit these very vulnerable babies,” said Ian Pople, lead researcher.