Objective: To evaluate the feasibility and effects of non-invasive pressure support ventilation (NIV) on the breathing pattern in infants developing respiratory failure after extubation.
Design: Prospective pilot clinical study; each patient served as their own control.
Setting: A nine-bed paediatric intensive care unit of a tertiary university hospital.
Patients: Six patients (median age 5 months, range 0.5-7 months; median weight 4.2 kg, range 3.8-5.1 kg) who developed respiratory failure after extubation.
Interventions: After a period of spontaneous breathing (SB), children who developed respiratory failure were treated with NIV.
Measurements and results: Measurements included clinical dyspnoea score (DS), blood gases and oesophageal pressure recordings, which were analysed for respiratory rate (RR), oesophageal inspiratory pressure swing (dPes) and oesophageal pressure-time product (PTPes). All data were collected during both periods (SB and NIV). When comparing NIV with SB, DS was reduced by 44% (P < 0.001), RR by 32% (P < 0.001), dPes by 45% (P < 0.01) and PTPes by 57% (P < 0.001). A non-significant trend for decrease in PaCO(2) was observed.
Conclusion: In these infants, non-invasive pressure support ventilation with turbine flow generator induced a reduction of breathing frequency, dPes and PTPes, indicating reduced load of the inspiratory muscles. NIV can be used with some benefits in infants with respiratory failure after extubation.