Safe criteria and procedure for kangaroo care with intubated preterm infants

J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. Sep-Oct 2003;32(5):579-88. doi: 10.1177/0884217503257618.


Kangaroo care (KC) was safely conducted with mechanically ventilated infants who weighed less than 600 grams and were less than 26 weeks gestation at birth. These infants, ventilated for at least 24 hours at the time of the first KC session, were considered stable on the ventilator at low settings (intermittent mandatory ventilation < 35 breaths per minute and FiO2 < 50%), had stable vital signs, and were not on vasopressors. A protocol for implementation of KC with ventilated infants that uses a standing transfer, with two staff members assisting to minimize the possibility of extubation, is presented. Also discussed is the positioning of the ventilator tubing during KC. This protocol was implemented without any accidental extubation throughout an experimental research study. The criteria and protocol were compared to those available in published reports and revealed many similar elements, providing additional support for the recommended protocol. No adverse events occurred with the criteria and protocol reported here, suggesting that they can be adopted for broader use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant Care / methods*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / methods*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / nursing*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Oxygen Inhalation Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventilator Weaning / methods