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Incidence of nasal trauma associated with nasal prong versus nasal mask during continuous positive airway pressure treatment in very low birthweight infants: a randomised control study
  1. S-C Yong,
  2. S-J Chen,
  3. N-Y Boo
  1. Universiti Kebangsaan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Correspondence to:
    Professor Boo
    Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latif, Bandar Tun Razak, Cheras, 56000, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia;


Objective: To compare the incidence of nasal trauma associated with the use of prong or mask during nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP) support in very low birthweight (<1501 g) infants.

Design: Randomised controlled clinical trial.

Setting: Tertiary care university hospital, Department of Paediatrics, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Methods: All very low birthweight infants admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit between July 2001 and December 2003 who received nCPAP through the Infant Flow Driver were randomised to the use of either nasal prong or mask. The nasal cavity of these infants was inspected daily during the first week and then weekly until they were weaned off nCPAP.

Results: Of the 89 infants recruited, 41 were randomised to the mask group and 48 to the prong group. There was no significant difference in the incidence of nasal trauma between the two groups (p  =  0.5). The primary site of trauma was at the junction between the nasal septum and the philtrum in infants in the mask group and the walls of the nasal septum in the prong group. Logistic regression analysis showed that duration of nCPAP was the only significant risk factor associated with development of nasal injury, after birth weight, gestational age, and nasal device used had been controlled for (adjusted odds ratio 1.04; 95% confidence interval 1.01 to 1.07; p  =  0.003).

Conclusion: Irrespective of the type of nasal device used, nasal trauma is common during nCPAP treatment, which should therefore be terminated as soon as possible.

  • IFD, Infant Flow Driver
  • nCPAP, nasal continuous positive airway pressure
  • VLBW, very low birth weight
  • continuous positive airway pressure
  • mask
  • nasal prong
  • trauma
  • very low birthweight infants

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  • Published online first 7 June 2005

  • Competing interests: none declared