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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Treatment of non-oliguric hyperkalaemia with inhaled salbutamol in premature infants with severe respiratory distress syndrome

Abstract

Non-oliguric hyperkalaemia (NOHK) in neonates is defined as a plasma potassium level > 6.5 mmol/L in the presence of urine output ≥ 1 mL/kg/h during the first 72 hours of life. It is characterized by a rapid rise of serum potassium to excessively high values, a high risk of cardiac arrhythmias and no occurrence after 72 hours of birth. NOHK commonly occurs in premature neonates, especially in those with a gestational age <28 weeks, with only a few reports of this entity in moderate or late preterm neonates. The effectiveness and safety of different treatments for NOHK is uncertain and currently there is no firm treatment recommendation. We describe the case of a moderately premature neonate (32+ 2 weeks gestation), with severe neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, who developed NOHK that was treated with inhaled salbutamol. When salbutamol is used for the treatment of NOHK, an initial paradoxical rise in potassium levels should always be taken into account to avoid cardiac arrhythmias.

Key words: non-oliguric hyperkalaemia, premature, infants, salbutamol, hyperkalaemia

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Admission to NICU in air is more likely if nasal High Flow is used for stabilisation in preterm babies compared to face mask CPAP

Abstract

Objective. To examine the success of stabilisation and the short term outcomes from the routine use of nasal high flow (nHF) on an unselected cohort of babies in the delivery room (DR).

Design. Retrospective single-centre study

Setting. Single-centre neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Patients. Infants born at < 32 weeks gestation

Interventions. Stabilisation and transfer to NICU of an unselected cohort of babies using nHF

Main outcome measures. Success of stabilisation defined by successful transfer on nHF and clinical measures of stability at admission to NICU, including oxygen requirement, admission temperature, surfactant requirement, short term outcomes and whether infants were sustained on nHF by 72 hours of age.

Results. There were 133 eligible babies. 54 were commenced on nHF in the DR (Group A), 47 were stabilised by face mask CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) (Group B), 26 were intubated (Group C); 6 required only minimal respiratory support (Group D). Median maturity varied between the groups (Group A 27+5 weeks, Group B 30 weeks, Group C 26+2 weeks, Group D 31+5). 72% of Group A and 75% of Group B remained on nHF for 72 hours (P=0.82). Fewer babies received surfactant in Group A versus Group B (29% vs 35%; P=0.67), however groups were not matched for maturity differences and Group A were significantly less mature and of lower birthweight (both P<0.001). Group A were significantly more likely to be in air at admission than Group B (P=0.03).

Conclusion. Preterm babies can be successfully stabilised and sustained on nHF. The use of nHF for immediate stabilisation appears to be effective and, in this study, led to significantly more babies being in air on admission to the NICU compared to face mask CPAP stabilisation.

Key words: nasal High Flow cannula, delivery room, stabilisation, premature

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