New technology at West Penn saves local newborn's life

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PITTSBURGH —

Thanks to new technology at West Penn Hospital, a local girl’s life may have been saved.

Vayla Clever was not breathing when she was born – there was something going on in her brain that might have been impossible to find without very specific equipment.

Vayla’s parents, Angela and Todd, said their daughter was quickly flown from Kittanning to West Penn.

“I could see her from where I was laying. She wasn’t breathing and she was gray. They were trying to get her to breath and I was so scared,” Angela Clever said.

Todd Clever told Channel 11’s Jennifer Abney that Vayla wasn’t able to breathe on her own for 21 minutes.

“They did an ultrasound of the brain and found some bleeding on her brain,” Todd Clever said.

Neonatologists used new technology called the Brain-Z Cerebral Function Monitoring System to pinpoint brain seizures in Vayla before she showed any physical symptoms.

“Up to 50 percent of babies who are experiencing seizures are not going to show any signs. There are no clinical symptoms for those seizures – they’ll be silent,” Neonatologist Dr. Giovanni Laneri said. “But the only way we can tell is with continuous monitoring of the brain.”

Laneri said the new technology helped them control Vayla’s seizures and prevent potential brain damage.

“It basically saved my family,” Todd Clever said. “To know that it was put to use and to see the outcome of it is amazing.”

Vayla is 4 months old, and her family said she and her twin sister are doing great.

“She’s doing great. They said that she looks like she is developmentally on track,” Angela Clever said.