Stabilisation of premature infants in the delivery room with nasal high flow

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Abstract

Objective

This was a pilot study to determine the feasibility of using nasal high flow (nHF) (also known as heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula) for stabilisation of babies born at <30 weeks gestation in the delivery room (DR) and transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

Design

Observational study.

Setting

Single-centre NICU.

Patients

Infants born at <30 weeks gestation.

Interventions

Stabilisation and transfer to NICU using nHF.

Main outcome measures

Feasibility of stabilisation as defined by successful transfer and clinical measures of stability at admission to NICU including oxygen requirement, temperature, requirement for surfactant and inotrope use within 72 h of delivery.

Results

Twenty-eight babies were enrolled after written parental consent had been obtained. 25/28 were successfully stabilised in the DR and transferred to the NICU on nHF. The average admission temperature for babies transferred on nHF was 36.9°C and the average inspired oxygen at admission was 29%. Less than half (48%) required surfactant and 60% were still on nHF 72 h after admission. 1 baby received inotropes.

Conclusions

Our study suggests that using nHF for stabilisation of premature infants in the DR and subsequent transfer to NICU is feasible.

Clinical trial registration number

NCT01991886.

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