Effects of a sustained inflation in preterm infants at birth

Jeroen J van Vonderen, Stuart B Hooper, Helmut D Hummler, Enrico Lopriore, Arjan B te Pas
Journal of Pediatrics 2014, 165 (5): 903-8.e1

OBJECTIVE: To assess the clinical effect of an initial sustained inflation of 10 seconds and 25 cmH2O in preterm infants at birth.

STUDY DESIGN: In this observational study inflation pressures and tidal volumes were recorded with the use of respiratory function monitoring of preterm infants <32 weeks' gestation receiving a sustained inflation. Inspiratory tidal volume (Vti) and expiratory tidal volume (Vte) of sustained inflation and cumulative Vti and Vte of breaths during sustained inflation were determined. Heart rate and oxygen saturation were measured before and after the sustained inflation.

RESULTS: Seventy infants were included (median [IQR]: gestational age 29 [27-30] weeks). Mean (SD) sustained inflation duration was 10.5 seconds (2.9 seconds) with positive inflation pressure 24.2 cmH2O (2.3 cmH2O) and positive end-expiratory pressure 6.0 cmH2O (1.8 cmH2O). In 20 of 70 infants, no volumes were delivered during the sustained inflation because of mask leak. No leak occurred in 50 of 70 infants, of whom 36 of 50 breathed during the sustained inflation. In 14 of the infants who did not breathe, Vti and Vte were 0.9 mL/kg (0.4-2.7 mL/kg) and 0.6 mL/kg (0.1-2.0 mL/kg) with a functional residual capacity (FRC) gain of 0.0 (-0.5 to 0.6) mL/kg. In 36 of 50 infants who breathed during the sustained inflation, Vti was 2.9 mL/kg (0.9-9.2 mL/kg) and Vte 3.8 mL/kg (1.0-5.9 mL/kg), whereas cumulative Vti of breaths was 16.4 mL/kg (6.8-23.3 mL/kg) and cumulative Vte of breaths was 5.8 mL/kg (1.2-16.8 mL/kg) with an FRC gain of 7.1 mL/kg (1.7-15.9 mL/kg). Heart rate and oxygen saturation did not increase immediately after the sustained inflation.

CONCLUSIONS: A sustained inflation of 10 seconds and 25 cmH2O in preterm infants at birth was not effective unless infants breathed. Although large mask leak accounted for approximately one-third of failures, as FRC gain was only associated with breathing, we speculate that active glottic adduction may be responsible for most failures.

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