Three-year experience with neonatal ventilation from a tertiary care hospital in Delhi

Indian Pediatr. 1993 Jun;30(6):783-9.


Ninety neonates were ventilated over a period of 33 months of whom 50 (55.5%) survived. Fifty seven babies received IPPV while 33 CPAP. IPPV mode was being used more frequently recently and survival rates have steadily improved over past 3 years. Survival was cent per cent in babies above 1.5 kg on CPAP mode while 16/26 (57.7%) survived on IPPV mode. Of 22 extremely VLBW (< 1 kg) babies, six survived. HMD was the commonest indication of ventilation (50%), of which 53% (24/45) survived. The other important indications of ventilation were apnea in 13 and transient tachypnea in 11 babies. All babies requiring ventilation for transient tachypnea survived. Nosocomial infections were common in association with ventilation 34/90 (37.7%), out of which in 14 was responsible for about a third of deaths. Pulmonary air leaks developed in 12 babies of which 6 died. Two babies developed BPD and one ROP. Neonatal ventilation should be ventured in centres where basic facilities for level II care already exist. It may not be cost effective to ventilate extremely low birth weight neonates.

PIP: During January 1989-September 1991, in India, neonatologists prescribed assisted ventilation (intermittent positive pressure ventilation [IPPV] and continuous positive airway pressure [CPAP]) for 90 neonates born and treated at a tertiary hospital in Delhi. All neonates requiring more than 168 hours of ventilation received IPPV. The smallest surviving neonate weighed 830 g at birth and was born at 26 weeks' gestation. This neonate received 510 hours of ventilation. One neonate received 48 days of ventilation (gestational age at birth, 28 weeks; birth weight, 800 g). This neonate eventually died due to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and sepsis. This infant was the only infant to develop NEC. A total of two newborns developed BPD. One infant developed retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Indications for ventilation were hyaline membrane disease (HMD) (45/90), apnea (13/90), and transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTNB) (11/90). Almost all HMD cases who weighed more than 1.5 kg at birth on CPAP survived. CPAP successfully treated all TTNB cases. Nine neonates developed pneumothorax. Three of them survived. 34 neonates developed sepsis, the most common complication. 20 sepsis cases also had underlying pneumonia. Sepsis was responsible for 35% of deaths (14/40). Five infants on IPPV developed persistent pulmonary hypertension (persistent fetal circulation). 35 infants developed infection during ventilation, 34 of whom had a nosocomial infection. The nosocomial infection rate was 37.7%. Nosocomial infection was responsible for 35% of deaths. 12 babies (13%) developed pulmonary air leaks, 50% of whom died. 25 of the 33 infants on CPAP survived. Few CPAP cases developed pulmonary air leak, BPD, and ROP. Six of 22 very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (1 kg) survived. These findings led the researchers to recommend that medical centers with basic facilities for level II care should provide neonatal ventilation. They proposed that ventilation may not be cost effective for VLBW newborns, however.

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / epidemiology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / etiology
  • Cause of Death
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / etiology
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal*
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / adverse effects
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / methods
  • Intermittent Positive-Pressure Ventilation / mortality
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / adverse effects
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / methods*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome