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Impact of delivered tidal volume on the occurrence of intraventricular haemorrhage in preterm infants during positive pressure ventilation in the delivery room


Background and objectives Delivery of inadvertent high tidal volume (VT) during positive pressure ventilation (PPV) in the delivery room is common. High VT delivery during PPV has been associated with haemodynamic brain injury in animal models. We examined if VT delivery during PPV at birth is associated with brain injury in preterm infants <29 weeks’ gestation.

Methods A flow-sensor was placed between the mask and the ventilation device. VT values were compared with recently described reference ranges for VT in spontaneously breathing preterm infants at birth. Infants were divided into two groups: VT<6  mL/kg or VT>6 mL/kg (normal and high VT, respectively). Brain injury (eg, intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH)) was assessed using routine ultrasound imaging within the first days after birth.

Results A total of 165 preterm infants were included, 124 (75%) had high VT and 41 (25%) normal VT. The mean (SD) gestational age and birth weight in high and normal VT group was similar, 26 (2) and 26 (1) weeks, 858 (251) g and 915 (250) g, respectively. IVH in the high VT group was diagnosed in 63 (51%) infants compared with 5 (13%) infants in the normal VT group (P=0.008).

Severe IVH (grade III or IV) developed in 33/124 (27%) infants in the high VT group and 2/41 (6%) in the normal VT group (P=0.01).

Conclusions High VT delivery during mask PPV at birth was associated with brain injury. Strategies to limit VT delivery during mask PPV should be used to prevent high VT delivery.

  • infants
  • newborn
  • delivery room
  • neonatal resuscitation
  • brain injury
  • respiratory functions tests

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