Lung immaturity and acute respiratory failure are the major problems in the care of extremely preterm infants. Most infants with gestational age (GA) 22-24 weeks will need mechanical ventilation and many will depend on some type of respiratory support, invasive and non-invasive for extended periods. There is ongoing gap in knowledge regarding optimal respiratory support and applying strategies that are effective in more mature populations is not easy or even suitable because lung maturation differs in smaller infants. Better strategies on how to avoid lung damage and to promote growth and development of the immature lung are warranted since increased survival is accompanied by increasing rates of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and concerns over long-standing reductions in lung function. This review focuses on some aspects of respiratory care of infants born at 22-24 weeks of GA.
Keywords: Antenatal corticosteroids; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Extremely preterm infant; Mechanical ventilation; Neonatal resuscitation; Non-invasive respiratory support; Surfactant.
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