[Respiratory care in neonatal intensive care units. Situation in the year 2005]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2009 Feb;70(2):137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Nov 13.
[Article in Spanish]


Aim: To learn the characteristic of the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) that offer neonatal respiratory assistance in Spain.

Material and method: A structured survey was developed and sent to all Spanish neonatal units to learn about the respiratory care offered in 2005.

Results: A total of 96 Units answered the survey, with an estimated representatively of 63%, with a range from 3 to 92%, depending on the geographical area. Level IIIc Units were in the upper range. Answer the survey 26 units type IIb (27%), 16 IIIa (17%), 40 IIIb (42%) and 14 IIIc (14%). The total number of level III NICU beds was 541 (1.2 beds per 1000 livebirths; range, 0.7-1.7). The mean number of beds per NICU was 4.1 in level IIIa Units, 2.8 in those IIIb and 14.6 in type IIIc NICUs. In level III NICUs, the bed per physician ratio was 2.4 and that of beds per registered nurse was 2.8 (2.2 in level IIIc NICUs). There were a total 13,219 admissions, 54% of those needed mechanical ventilation (36% in IIIa and 65% in level IIIc NICUs). Oxygen blenders for resuscitation at birth were available in 42% of level IIIb and IIIc NICUs. NICUs had one neonatal ventilator per bed, and 63% of units had high frequency ventilation available. All units had nasal-CPAP systems, 25% of level IIIa Units, 58% IIIb and 64% of those type IIIc had systems for nasal ventilation. All level IIIc and 93% of level IIIb NICUs were able to provide inhaled nitric oxygen therapy. Four NICUS offered ECMO.

Conclusions: The mean number of NICU beds per 1000 livebirths is within the lower limits of those been recommended, and there were wide variations among different geographical areas. A 54% of those babies admitted to NICUs required mechanical ventilation. The mean number of NICU beds per registered nurse was 2.8. There was an adequate number of neonatal ventilators (one per bed) and 63% were able to provide HFV. All NICUs hand n-CPAP systems.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Respiration, Artificial / statistics & numerical data*