Purpose: To describe the incidence, indications and clinical outcomes following high pressures on noninvasive respiratory support (NRS) in preterm neonates.
Study design: Retrospective cohort study of all neonates with BW <1.500 g admitted from July 2012 to June 2014 and placed on high noninvasive respiratory support (NRS), defined as mean airway pressure ≥10 cm H2O for at least 12 continuous hours using nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) and/or nasal high-frequency ventilation (NIHFV). Clinical and physiological outcomes following high NRS were ascertained. Median (IQR) and percentages were used to describe continuous and categorical data, respectively.
Results: There were 131 instances of high NRS use in 70 of 315 eligible infants. Most common indication was post-extubation, observed in 37% (49/131) of high NRS instances. Intubation was avoided in 71% (93/131) of instances in the first 7 days following high NRS initiation. There were no physiological perturbations in heart rate, blood pressure or oxygen requirement. Furthermore, there were no instances of lung hyperinflation, pneumothoraces or spontaneous intestinal perforation following high NRS.
Conclusion: The use of high NRS pressure was followed by avoidance of intubation in the majority of cases without adverse effects. Further research on high NRS use including its indications, clinical outcomes and safety profile is warranted.
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