Physiological stability in an indigenous sleep device: a randomised controlled trial

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Abstract

Objective

To compare overnight oxygen saturation, heart rate and the thermal environment of infants sleeping in an indigenous sleep device (wahakura) or bassinet to identify potential risks and benefits.

Design

Randomised controlled trial.

Setting

Family homes in low socio-economic areas in New Zealand.

Patients

200 mainly Māori mothers and their infants.

Interventions

Participants received a wahakura or bassinet from birth.

Main outcome measures

Overnight oximetry, heart rate and temperature at 1 month.

Results

Intention-to-treat analysis for 83 bassinet and 84 wahakura infants showed no significant differences between groups for the mean time oxygen saturation (SpO2) was less than 94% (0.54 min, 95% CI -1.36 to 2.45) or less than 90% (0.22 min, 95% CI -0.56 to 1.00), the mean number of SpO2 dips per hour >5% (-0.19, 95% CI -3.07 to 2.69) or >10% (-0.41, 95% CI -1.63 to 0.81), mean heart rate (1.99 beats/min, 95% CI -1.02 to 4.99), or time shin temperature >36°C (risk ratio (RR): 0.63, 95% CI 0.13 to 2.99) or <34°C (RR: 0.89, 95% CI 0.61 to 1.30). A per-protocol analysis of 45 bassinet and 26 wahakura infants and an as-used analysis of 104 infants in a bassinet and 48 in a wahakura found no significant differences between groups for all outcome measures.

Conclusions

This indigenous sleep device is at least as safe as the currently recommended bassinet, which supports its use as a sleep environment that offers an alternative way of bed-sharing.

Trial registration number

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry: ACTRN12610000993099.

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