Background: Randomised trials suggest that high-flow (HF) therapy is comparable with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) for postextubation respiratory support in neonates, and HF has been widely adopted in neonatal intensive care.
Methods: We conducted a population-based study of very preterm infants born <32 weeks' gestation within the Australian and New Zealand Neonatal Network (ANZNN) data set from 2009 to 2012, who received respiratory support with HF.
Results: 3372 very preterm infants were treated with HF. HF use in this population increased significantly from 15% in 2009 to 35% in 2012. In 2012, 53% (542/1029) of extremely preterm infants born <28 weeks' gestation received HF. 98% (3308/3372) of infants had received endotracheal ventilation or CPAP prior to receiving HF. The maximum HF gas flow was ≤8 L/min in almost all infants.
Conclusions: HF use in extremely preterm and very preterm infants increased significantly within the ANZNN from 2009 to 2012.
Keywords: Infant, premature; Non-invasive ventilation; Respiratory distress syndrome, newborn.
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