Oropharyngeal surfactant can improve initial stabilisation and reduce rescue intubation in infants born below 25 weeks of gestation

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Minimally aggressive and easily performed techniques that facilitate spontaneous respiratory stabilisation are required to reduce rescue intubation in extremely premature infants. This study evaluated the feasibility and safety of administering surfactant into the pharynx of infants born at <25 weeks immediately after birth.


This study of 19 infants was conducted from January 2013 to June 2014 in a tertiary perinatal centre in Prague. We administered 1.5 mL of Curosurf as a bolus into the pharynx and simultaneously performed a sustained inflation manoeuvre (SIM). The extent of the interventions, death and severe neonatal morbidity in the study group were compared with 20 controls born before the study period and 20 born after it.


All infants received oropharyngeal surfactant within the median (interquartile range) time of 40 seconds (25–75) after cord camping. The surfactant had to be suctioned in one infant because of upper airway obstruction. Although more subsequent surfactant was administered in the study group, significantly fewer study period infants required intubation than the before and after controls (16% versus 75% and 58%, respectively, p < 0.01).


Oropharyngeal surfactant with simultaneous SIM was feasible and safe and reduced the need for delivery room intubation in these fragile infants.

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