Objective: To compare the efficacy and safety of bubble continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and Infant Flow Driver (IFD) CPAP for the post-extubation management of preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
Study design: A total of 140 preterm infants at 24 to 29 weeks' gestation or with a birth weight of 600 to 1500 g who were ventilated at birth for RDS were randomized to receive either IFD CPAP (a variable-flow device) or bubble CPAP (a continuous-flow device). A standardized protocol was used for extubation and CPAP. No crossover was allowed. The primary outcome was successful extubation maintained for at least 72 hours. Secondary outcomes included successful extubation maintained for 7 days, total duration of CPAP support, chronic lung disease, and complications of prematurity.
Results: Seventy-one infants were randomized to bubble CPAP, and 69 were randomized to IFD CPAP. Mean gestational age and birth weight were similar in the 2 groups, as were the proportions of infants who achieved successful extubation for 72 hours and for 7 days. However, the median duration of CPAP support was 50% shorter in the infants on bubble CPAP. Moreover, in the subset of infants who were ventilated for less than 14 days, the infants on bubble CPAP had a significantly lower extubation failure rate. There was no difference in the incidence of chronic lung disease or other complications between the 2 study groups.
Conclusions: Bubble CPAP is as effective as IFD CPAP in the post-extubation management of infants with RDS; however, in infants ventilated for < or = 14 days, bubble CPAP is associated with a significantly higher rate of successful extubation. Bubble CPAP also is associated with a significantly reduced duration of CPAP support.