Introduction of a Quality Improvement Bundle Is Associated with Reduced Exposure to Mechanical Ventilation in Very Preterm Infants

Neonatology. 2021;118(5):578-585. doi: 10.1159/000518392. Epub 2021 Sep 1.


Introduction: Exposure to mechanical ventilation (MV) is a risk factor for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in very preterm infants (VPTIs). We assessed the impact of a quality improvement (QI) bundle in VPTIs (<32 week gestation) on exposure to MV.

Methods: We introduced a QI bundle consisting of deferred cord clamping (DCC), nasal bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) in the delivery room (DR), and minimally invasive surfactant therapy (MIST). We compared respiratory outcomes and neonatal morbidity in historical pre-QI (July-December 2017) and prospective post-QI (February-July 2019) cohorts (QICs) of VPTIs. We pre-specified an adjusted analysis to account for the effects of gestational age, sex, antenatal steroids, and any demographic data that significantly differed between cohorts.

Results: The pre-QI and post-QICs included 87 and 98 VPTIs, respectively. The post-QIC had decreased rates of MV in the DR (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 0.26, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.09-0.71), in the first 72 h of life (aOR 0.27, 95% CI 0.11-0.62) and during admission (aOR 0.28, 95% CI 0.12-0.66). Rates of BPD, combined BPD/death, and BPD severity were similar. The post-QIC was less likely to be discharged with home oxygen (aOR 0.27, 95% CI 0.08-0.91). Necrotising enterocolitis grade ≥2 increased (aOR 19.01, 95% CI 1.93-188.6) in the post-QIC.

Conclusion: In this rapid-cycle QI study, implementation of a QI bundle consisting of DCC, early nasal bCPAP, and MIST in VPTIs was associated with reduced rates of MV in the DR, in the first 72 h of life and during admission, and reduced need for home oxygen.

Keywords: Continuous positive airway pressure; Infant; Mechanical ventilation; Preterm; Pulmonary surfactant; Umbilical cord.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality Improvement
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn*