Objective: To describe the outcomes of infants and young children with respiratory distress when treated with a novel, low-cost, stand-alone bubble Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (bCPAP) system in a resource-limited setting.
Methods: A non-randomized, convenience sample study in a pediatric unit in Blantyre, Malawi, 2013. Patients weighing ≤10 kg with respiratory distress were eligible. We compared outcomes for patients with bronchiolitis, pneumonia and Pneumocystis jiroveci pneumonia (PJP) after treatment with bCPAP.
Results: Seventy percent of patients treated with bCPAP survived. Outcomes were best for patients with bronchiolitis and worst for those with PJP. Most survivors (80%) showed improvement within 24 h. All treating physicians found bCPAP useful, leading to a change in practice.
Conclusions: Bubble CPAP was most beneficial to patients with bronchiolitis. Children, who were going to get well, tended to get well quickly. Physicians believed the bCPAP system provided a higher level of care than nasal oxygen.
Keywords: bubble CPAP; low cost device; pediatric; resource limited setting; respiratory distress.
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