SA doctor reflects on FDA approval of fish oil treatment for babies

A San Antonio physician played a key role in a trial at UT Health San Antonio that resulted in a new life-saving medicine for critically-ill babies.

The drug being tested was Omegaven, a fish oil supplement given through IV to tiny babies with gastrointestinal complications. 

As a result of this and other studies, the Food and Drug Administration approved the life-saving treatment for babies all across the country.

The old treatment resulted in about half of these babies dying. The survival rate with Omegaven improved to better than 90 percent. 

"I couldn't continue to see these babies bleed to death without doing something about it," said Dr. Cynthia Blanco, professor of pediatrics at UT Health San Antonio and medical director of the Neonatal Nutrition & Bone Institute and the neonatal transport team at University Health System.

The FDA approved the drug to be manufactured and sold in the United States.

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