At birth, infants' lungs are fluid-filled; this fluid must be replaced by air to allow for effective breathing. Some infants are judged to have inadequate breathing at birth and are resuscitated with positive pressure ventilation (PPV). Giving prolonged (sustained) inflations at the start of PPV may help clear lung fluid and establish gas volume in the lungs.
To assess the efficacy of initial sustained (> one second duration) lung inflation compared to standard inflations (≤ one second) in newly born infants receiving resuscitation with intermittent PPV.
We searched on PubMed (1966 to 1 February 2015), EMBASE (1980 to 1 February 2015) and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (the Cochrane Library 2015). No language restrictions were applied. We searched the abstracts of the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) from 2000 to 2014.
Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and quasi-RCTs comparing giving initial sustained lung inflations (SLI) vs. standard inflations to infants receiving resuscitation with PPV at birth.
We assessed methodological quality of the included trials using Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) criteria (assessing randomisation, blinding, loss to follow-up and handling of outcome data). We evaluated the treatment effect using a fixed-effect model using risk ratio for categorical data and using mean, standard deviation (SD) and weighted mean difference (WMD) for continuous data.
Two trials enrolling 352 infants met our inclusion criteria. There were no differences in the rates of mortality during hospitalisation (RR 1.59, 95% CI 0.81 to 3.10; two trials, 352 infants), intubation in the first three days of life (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.02; two trials, 352 infants) or chronic lung disease (RR 1.06, 95% CI 0.79 to 1.42; two trials, 349 infants) between infants who received sustained versus standard inflations. The rate of patent ductus arteriosus (reported as need for pharmacological treatment) was higher in the sustained inflation group (RR 1.27, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.56; two trials, 352 infants).
At present there is insufficient evidence from clinical trials to determine the efficacy and safety of initial sustained lung inflation for newborn infants resuscitated with PPV. RCTs comparing PPV with and without sustained inflations at neonatal resuscitation are warranted.