Objective: To study the effects of implementing a method for surfactant administration by transient intubation, INSURE (i.e. INtubation SURfactant Extubation) during nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) for moderately preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
Study design: A descriptive, retrospective, bi-center study in Stockholm, Sweden, comparing mechanical ventilation (MV) rates, surfactant use, treatment response and outcome of all inborn infants with gestational age 27 to 34 weeks and RDS, (n=420), during the 5-year periods before and after the introduction of the INSURE-strategy at one of the centers (Karolinska Huddinge) in 1998. The other center (Karolinska Solna) continued conventional surfactant therapy in conjunction with MV throughout the study.
Results: Implementation of INSURE at Karolinska Huddinge reduced the number of infants requiring MV by 50% (P<0.01), resulted in earlier surfactant administration and increased overall surfactant use. INSURE-treatment improved oxygenation and the treatment response was sustained over time with only 17% of the infants requiring >1 dose of surfactant. At Karolinska Solna, the MV rates were unaltered between the first and second 5-year period.
Conclusion: Implementing a strategy of surfactant administration by transient intubation during nCPAP reduces the need for MV without adverse effects on outcome and may be an option to more effectively treat RDS, particularly in a care setting where transfer is necessary to provide MV.