Nasal interfaces for neonatal resuscitation

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2023 Oct 3;10(10):CD009102. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009102.pub2.


Background: The Neonatal Task Force of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) makes practice recommendations for the care of newborn infants in the delivery room (DR). ILCOR recommends that all infants who are gasping, apnoeic, or bradycardic (heart rate < 100 per minute) should be given positive pressure ventilation (PPV) with a manual ventilation device (T-piece, self-inflating bag, or flow-inflating bag) via an interface. The most commonly used interface is a face mask that encircles the infant's nose and mouth. However, gas leak and airway obstruction are common during face mask PPV. Nasal interfaces (single and binasal prongs (long or short), or nasal masks) and laryngeal mask airways (LMAs) may also be used to deliver PPV to newborns in the DR, and may be more effective than face masks.

Objectives: To determine whether newborn infants receiving PPV in the delivery room with a nasal interface compared to a face mask, laryngeal mask airway (LMA), or another type of nasal interface have reduced mortality and morbidity. To assess whether safety and efficacy of the nasal interface differs according to gestational age or ventilation device.

Search methods: Searches were conducted in September 2022 in CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, Epistemonikos, and two trial registries. We searched conference abstracts and checked the reference lists of included trials and related systematic reviews identified through the search.

Selection criteria: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCT's that compared the use of nasal interfaces to other interfaces (face masks, LMAs, or one nasal interface to another) to deliver PPV to newborn infants in the DR.

Data collection and analysis: Each review author independently evaluated the search results against the selection criteria, screened retrieved records, extracted data, and appraised the risk of bias. If they were study authors, they did not participate in the selection, risk of bias assessment, or data extraction related to the study. In such instances, the study was independently assessed by other review authors. We contacted trial investigators to obtain additional information. We completed data analysis according to the standards of Cochrane Neonatal, using risk ratio (RR) and 95% confidence Intervals (CI) to measure the effect of the different interfaces. We used fixed-effect models and the GRADE approach to assess the certainty of the evidence.

Main results: We included five trials, in which 1406 infants participated. They were conducted in 13 neonatal centres across Europe and Australia. Each of these trials compared a nasal interface to a face mask for the delivery of respiratory support to newborn infants in the DR. Potential sources of bias were a lack of blinding to treatment allocation of the caregivers and investigators in all trials. The evidence suggests that resuscitation with a nasal interface in the DR, compared with a face mask, may have little to no effect on reducing death before discharge (typical risk ratio (RR) 0.72, 95% CI 0.47 to 1.13; 3 studies, 1124 infants; low-certainty evidence). Resuscitation with a nasal interface may reduce the rate of intubation in the DR, but the evidence is very uncertain (RR 0.68, 95% CI 0.54 to 0.85; 5 studies, 1406 infants; very low-certainty evidence). The evidence is very uncertain for the rate of intubation within 24 hours of birth (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.09; 3 studies, 749 infants; very low-certainty evidence), endotracheal intubation outside the DR during hospitalisation (RR 1.15, 95% CI 0.93 to 1.42; 1 study, 144 infants; very low-certainty evidence) and cranial ultrasound abnormalities (intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) grade ≥ 3, or periventricular leukomalacia; RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.61; 3 studies, 749 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Resuscitation with a nasal interface in the DR, compared with a face mask, may have little to no effect on the incidence of air leaks (RR 1.09, 95% CI 0.85 to 1.09; 2 studies, 507 infants; low-certainty evidence), or the need for supplemental oxygen at 36 weeks' corrected gestational age (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.8 to 1.40; 2 studies, 507 infants; low-certainty evidence). We identified one ongoing study, which compares a nasal mask to a face mask to deliver PPV to infants in the DR. We did not identify any completed trials that compared nasal interfaces to LMAs or one nasal interface to another.

Authors' conclusions: Nasal interfaces were found to offer comparable efficacy to face masks (low- to very low-certainty evidence), supporting resuscitation guidelines that state that nasal interfaces are a comparable alternative to face masks for providing respiratory support in the DR. Resuscitation with a nasal interface may reduce the rate of intubation in the DR when compared with a face mask. However, the evidence is very uncertain. This uncertainty is attributed to the use of a new ventilation system in the nasal interface group in two of the five trials. As such, it is not possible to differentiate separate, specific effects related to the ventilation device or to the interface in these studies.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation
  • Intubation, Intratracheal
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration* / adverse effects
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration* / methods
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Resuscitation* / methods