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Original Research

Open Access

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


1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, St. Peter’s Hospital, Surrey UK

DOI: 10.22514/SV132.102017.4 Vol.13,Issue 2,November 2017 pp.29-32

Published: 06 November 2017

*Corresponding Author(s): PETER REYNOLDS E-mail:


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

Design. Retrospective single-centre study Setting. Single-centre neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

Patients. Infants born at < 32 weeks gesta-tion

Interventions. Stabilisation and transfer to NICU of an unselected cohort of babies us-ing nHF

Main outcome measures. Success of sta-bilisation defined by successful transfer on nHF and clinical measures of stability at admission to NICU, including oxygen requirement, admission temperature, sur-factant 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 res-piratory support (Group D). Median ma-turity 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 ba-bies received surfactant in Group A versus Group B (29% vs 35%; P=0.67), however groups were not matched for maturity dif-ferences 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 suc-cessfully 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.  


nasal High Flow cannula, deliv-ery room, stabilisation, premature

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EDIT MOLNAR,NICOLA HOLLAND,PETER REYNOLDS. Admission to NICU in air is more likely if nasal High Flow is used for stabilisation in preterm babies compared to face mask CPAP. Signa Vitae. 2017. 13(2);29-32.


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