Table 3

Responses of hospitals to limitations in availability of mechanical ventilators or surfactant

No. (%)*
Course of action if all ventilators are in use and another infant requires mechanical ventilation (n=92)
 The family will hire a ventilator from a rental company52 (57)
 Hand ventilation is attempted if there are individuals able to do so40 (44)
 The neonate is transferred to a facility with an available ventilator37 (40)
 Babies who are currently on the ventilator and who are on low ventilation settings are taken off support in the hope that they won’t need it12 (13)
 The hospital will hire a ventilator from a third party or source one from another unit12 (13)
 CPAP is attempted (either nasal or ET)4 (4)
 New babies who need treatment are kept comfortable and die1 (1)
Rules or limitations placed on which infants are able to receive surfactant: (n=65)
 No rules or limitations placed29 (45)
 Financial capacity of family23 (35)
 The infant must fall within a particular GA range6 (9)
 There is a maximum number of doses due to cost4 (6)
 Availability of medication4 (6)
 Availability of a mechanical ventilator1 (2)
 The infant must be of a minimum birth weight1 (2)
  • *Respondents could select more than one answer. Percentages reflect the proportion of respondents who selected a particular answer, therefore percentages do not total 100.

  • CPAP, continuous positive airway pressure; ET, endotracheal tube; GA, gestational age.