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VOLUME 3 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2024 ) > List of Articles


Timely Respiratory Support Can Improve Clinical Outcomes of Premature Infants in a Country with Limited Medical Resources due to Chronic Conflicts

Numan N Hameed, Musaab M Khaleel, Ola D Saugstad

Keywords : Baby, Infant, INSURE, Mechanical ventilation, Minimal invasive surfactant therapy, Neonatology, Neonate, Neonatal intensive care unit, Newborn, Preterm infants, Respiratory distress syndrome

Citation Information : Hameed NN, Khaleel MM, Saugstad OD. Timely Respiratory Support Can Improve Clinical Outcomes of Premature Infants in a Country with Limited Medical Resources due to Chronic Conflicts. 2024; 3 (1):13-18.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11002-0088

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 26-03-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Introduction: The children of Iraq have suffered greatly from military conflicts and economic sanctions since 1991. Recent years have shown some improvement in neonatal and infant mortality but more efforts are needed; prematurity and associated respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) remain the two leading causes. In this study, we investigated the efficiency of timely institution of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) in stabilizing these infants. These data are needed for the optimum allocation of financial resources to improve the healthcare outcomes of infants. Patients and methods: This prospective cross-sectional study was carried out over 6 months from April 1st to September 30th, 2022. Inborn preterm infants born between 26 and 32+0 weeks’ gestation who required respiratory support after delivery or immediately after admission were included. The data for the initial course of respiratory support and outcomes were assessed. Results: In our cohort of 123 infants, nCPAP significantly increased the likelihood of clinical stabilization in infants with a gestational age (GA) >28 weeks (p = 0.022), birth weight (BW) ≥1500 gm (p = 0.016), use of antenatal steroids (p = 0.002), Apgar score at 5 minutes of life (p = 0.022), mild radiographic findings (p = 0.007), and sepsis without prolonged rupture of membranes (p = 0.027). Nasal continuous positive airway pressure also reduced the need for surfactant (p = 0.001) and mortality (p = 0.0001). Conclusion: Early institution of nCPAP improved the respiratory status of premature infants who were born at a gestational age from >28 to ≤32 weeks, had birth weight ≥1500 gm, had received antenatal steroids, had a 5-minute Apgar score >7, and had sepsis but no PROM. The success of early nCPAP reduced the need for surfactant and mechanical ventilation, and the risk of pulmonary hemorrhage and mortality.

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