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Pediatr Int. 2012 Dec;54(6):743-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-200X.2012.03670.x. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Pulmonary hemorrhage in very low-birthweight infants: risk factors and management.

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  • 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.



Beginning 2007, the intratracheal route of epinephrine to end massive pulmonary hemorrhage (MPH) in very low-birthweight (VLBW) infants was modified at Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital. The aim of the present study was to assess the change in outcomes for these infants, and to evaluate the risk factors of MPH.


Using the database of the Premature Baby Foundation of Taiwan, the mortality, risk factors and characteristics of VLBW infants with or without MPH were compared between 2000-2006 and 2007-2010.


Between January 2000 and December 2010, 399 VLBW infants were admitted to Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital. Mean birthweight (BW) was 1099.6 ± 272.7 g, and mean gestational age (GA) was 28.7 ± 2.9 weeks. The overall survival rate was 84.2%. Sixteen (4%) had MPH: 11 in the first group (2000-2006; 18.2% survival rate), and five in the second group (2007-2010; 80% survival rate; P= 0.0000002). Infants with MPH had lower mean BW (864.9 ± 301.4 g, P= 0.0004), smaller mean GA (26.1 ± 2.0 weeks, P= 0.0002), significantly lower Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, higher severity of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS; grades 3 or 4), and greater use of surfactant than infants without MPH. They also had more intraventricular hemorrhage and higher mortality.


Smaller GA, lower BW, lower Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, severe RDS (grades 3 or 4), and use of surfactant place VLBW infants at greater risk of MPH. Proper prenatal care and preventing premature labor and delivery were the most important preventative factors. A quick, deep thrust of intratracheal epinephrine with a catheter may improve survival.

© 2012 The Authors. Pediatrics International © 2012 Japan Pediatric Society.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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