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Comparison of inspiratory effort with three variable-flow nasal continuous positive airway pressure devices in preterm infants: a cross-over study
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  • Published on:
    Constant or variable flow nCPAP devices.
    • Martin Wald, Neonatologist Division of Neonatology, Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Paracelsus Medical University

    Dear Sir or Madam!
    Nasal CPAP is one of the most important therapies in neonatology. Accordingly, the manufacturers of such devices are very interested in gaining market share. Not all of their "sales arguments" correspond to clinical or physical reality. This is why studies comparing different devices are so extremely important.
    The authors claim to have compared three CPAP systems that are referred to as "variable-flow" devices. This refers to CPAP systems that generate their CPAP through one or more jets, corresponding to jet ventilation as it is known in laryngeal surgery. But does the Miniflow CPAP belong in this category? The Miniflow has one inspiratory and one expiratory tube and does not have a jet. Pressure is generated through the expiratory valve of a ventilator. Such CPAP devices are actually called "constant-flow" devices.
    Basically, the division into variable-flow and constant-flow devices is considered very confusing and, above all, physically questionable. However, the terms are very persistent. In any case, however, the statement of the study could be supplemented. It shows not only that there is no difference between variable flow devices, but equally no difference between variable and constant flow devices.
    Yours sincerely,
    Martin Wald

    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.