Objective: To test whether the introduction of early bubble continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) results in improved respiratory outcomes in extremely low birth-weight infants.
Study design: Outcomes of all infants between 401 and 1000 g born in a level 3 neonatal intensive care units (NICU) between July 2000 and October 2001 (period 2) were compared using historical controls (period 1). Early bubble (CPAP) was prospectively introduced in the NICU during period 1. Univariate and adjusted comparisons were made across time periods.
Results: Delivery room intubations, days on mechanical ventilation and use of postnatal steroids decreased (p<0.001) in period 2, while mean days on CPAP, number of babies on CPAP at 24 hours (p<0.001) and mean weight at 36 weeks corrected gestation also increased (p<0.05) after introduction of early bubble CPAP.
Conclusions: Early bubble CPAP reduced delivery room intubations, days on mechanical ventilation, postnatal steroid use and was associated with increased postnatal weight gain with no increased complications.