Objective To evaluate annual trends in the administration and duration of respiratory support among preterm infants.
Design Retrospective cohort study.
Setting Tertiary neonatal intensive care units in the Canadian Neonatal Network.
Patients 8881 extremely preterm infants born from 2010 to 2017 treated with endotracheal and/or non-invasive positive pressure support (PPS).
Main outcome measures Competing risks methods were used to investigate the outcomes of mortality and time to first successful extubation, definitive extubation, weaning off PPS, and weaning PPS and/or low-flow oxygen, according to gestational age (GA). Cox proportional hazards and regression models were fitted to evaluate the trend in duration of respiratory support, survival and surfactant treatment over the study period.
Results The percentages of infants who died or were weaned from respiratory support were presented graphically over time by GA. Advancing GA was associated with ordinally earlier weaning from respiratory support. Year over year, infants born at 23 weeks were initially and definitively weaned from endotracheal and all PPS earlier (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.11, for all outcomes), while survival simultaneously increased (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.18). Infants born at 26 and 27 weeks remained on non-invasive PPS longer (HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.98 and HR 0.97, 95% CI 0.95 to 0.99, respectively). Early surfactant treatment declined among infants born at 24–27 weeks GA.
Conclusions Infants at the borderline of viability have experienced improved survival and earlier weaning from all forms of PPS, while those born at 26 and 27 weeks are spending more time on PPS in recent years. GA-based estimates of the duration of respiratory support and survival may assist in counselling, benchmarking, quality improvement and resource planning.
Data availability statement
No data are available. Data are from the Canadian Neonatal Network and comprise deidentified participant data.
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Contributors DEW conceptualised and designed the study, interpreted the data, drafted the initial manuscript, and critically reviewed and revised the final manuscript. EY conceptualised and designed the study, analysed and interpreted the data, and critically reviewed and revised the final manuscript. BR and MD, JE, AM and PSS conceptualised and designed the study, interpreted the data, and critically reviewed and revised the final manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript as submitted and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work. PSS had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of data analysis. EY conducted the data analysis.
Funding Organisational support for the Canadian Neonatal Network was provided by the Maternal-Infant Care (MiCare) Research Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. MiCare is supported by a team grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) (CTP 87518), by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, and by the participating hospitals. PSS holds an Applied Research Chair in Reproductive and Child Health Services and Policy Research from the CIHR (APR-126340).
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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