Preterm infants with respiratory distress may require mechanical ventilation which is associated with increased pulmonary morbidities. Prompt and successful extubation to noninvasive support is a pressing goal. In this communication, we show original data that increased recurring intermittent hypoxemia (IH, oxygen saturation <80%) may be associated with extubation failure at 72 h in a cohort of neonates <30 weeks gestational age. Current-generation bedside high-resolution pulse oximeters provide saturation profiles that may be of use in identifying extubation readiness and failure. A larger prospective study that utilizes intermittent hypoxemia as an adjunct predictor for extubation readiness is warranted.
Keywords: extubation; intermittent hypoxemia; intubation; preterm; respiratory distress.