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Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2014 Jul;99(4):F321-4. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2013-305165. Epub 2014 May 20.

Changes in ventilator strategies and outcomes in preterm infants.

Author information

NICU, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Ospedale 'A Manzoni', Lecco, Italy.
Pediatrics and Neonatology Division, Woman and Child Health Department, Ospedale Versilia, Viareggio, Italy.



Although life-saving, intubation and mechanical ventilation can lead to complications including bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). In order to reduce the incidence of BPD, non-invasive ventilation (NIV) is increasingly used.


The aim of our study was to describe changes in ventilator strategies and outcomes between 2006 and 2010 in the Italian Neonatal Network (INN).


Multicentre cohort study.


31 tertiary level neonatal units participating in INN in 2006 and 2010.


2465 preterm infants 23-30 weeks gestational age (GA) without congenital anomalies.


Death, BPD and other variables defined according to Vermont Oxford Network. Logistic regressions, adjusting for confounders and clustering for hospitals, were used.


Similar numbers of infants were studied between 2006 and 2010 (1234 in 2006 and 1231 in 2010). The baseline risk of populations studied (GA, birth weight and Vermont Oxford Network Risk-Adjustment score) did not change. After adjusting for confounding variables, infants receiving invasive mechanical ventilation decreased (OR=0.72, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.89) while NIV increased (OR=1.75, 95% CI 1.39 to 2.21); intubation in delivery room decreased (OR=0.64, 95% CI 0.51 to 0.79). Considering outcomes, there was a significant reduction in mortality (OR=0.73, 95% CI 0.55 to 0.96) and in the combined outcome mortality or BPD (OR=0.76, 95% CI 0.62 to 0.94).


Despite a stable baseline risk, from 2006 to 2010, we observed a lower level of invasiveness, a reduction of mechanical ventilation and an increase of NIV use, and this was accompanied by a decrease in risk-adjusted mortality and BPD.


Epidemiology; Outcomes; Preterm Infants; Ventilator strategies

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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