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1.  Infant flow biphasic nasal continuous positive airway pressure (BP- NCPAP) vs. infant flow NCPAP for the facilitation of extubation in infants' ≤ 1,250 grams: a randomized controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:43.
The use of mechanical ventilation is associated with lung injury in preterm infants and therefore the goal is to avoid or minimize its use. To date there is very little consensus on what is considered the "best non-invasive ventilation mode" to be used post-extubation. The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of biphasic nasal continuous positive airway pressure (BP-NCPAP) vs. NCPAP in facilitating sustained extubation in infants ≤ 1,250 grams.
We performed a randomized controlled trial of BP-NCPAP vs. NCPAP in infants ≤ 1,250 grams extubated for the first time following mechanical ventilation since birth. Infants were extubated using preset criteria or at the discretion of the attending neonatologist. The primary outcome was the incidence of sustained extubation for 7 days. Secondary outcomes included incidence of adverse events and short-term neonatal outcomes.
Sixty-seven infants received BP-NCPAP and 69 NCPAP. Baseline characteristics were similar between groups. The trial was stopped early due to increased use of non-invasive ventilation from birth, falling short of our calculated sample size of 141 infants per group. The incidence of sustained extubation was not statistically different between the BP-NCPAP vs. NCPAP group (67% vs. 58%, P = 0.27). The incidence of adverse events and short-term neonatal outcomes were similar between the two groups (P > 0.05) except for retinopathy of prematurity which was noted to be higher (P = 0.02) in the BP-NCPAP group.
Biphasic NCPAP may be used to assist in weaning from mechanical ventilation. The effectiveness and safety of BP-NCPAP compared to NCPAP needs to be confirmed in a large multi-center trial as our study conclusions are limited by inadequate sample size.
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Source of support
Grant # 06-06, Physicians Services Incorporated Foundation, Toronto, Canada. Summit technologies Inc. provided additional NCPAP systems and an unrestricted educational grant.
Abstract presented at The Society for Pediatric Research Meeting, Baltimore, USA, May 2nd-5th, 2009 and Canadian Paediatric Society Meeting, June 23rd-29th, Ottawa, 2009.
PMCID: PMC3402979  PMID: 22475409
Infant-newborn; Non-invasive ventilation; Continuous positive airway pressure; Extubation failure
2.  Lessons from SARS: A retrospective study of outpatient care during an infectious disease outbreak 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:51.
During severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in Toronto, outpatient clinics at SickKids Hospital were closed to prevent further disease transmission. In response, a decision was made by the neonatal neuro-developmental follow up (NNFU) clinic staff to select patients with scheduled appointments to have a mail/telephone assessment using Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) or to postpone/skip their visit. The objective of this study was to compare the developmental assessment and its outcome in two groups of NNFU clinic patients, SARS versus non-SARS, over three standard clinic appointments.
We compared the diagnostic accuracy (identification of developmental delay), and patient management (referral for therapy or communication of a new diagnosis) of the strategies used during SARS, April/May 2003, to the standard assessment methods used for patients seen in April/May 2005 (non-SARS). In all cases data were obtained for 3 patient visits: before, during and after these 2 months and were compared using descriptive statistics.
There were 95 patients in the SARS group and 99 non-SARS patients. The gestational age, sex, entry diagnosis and age at the clinic visit was not different between the groups. The NNFU clinic staff mailed ASQ to 27 families during SARS, 17 (63%) were returned, and 8 of the 17 were then contacted by telephone. Criteria used to identify infants at risk selected for either mailed ASQ or phone interviews were not clearly defined in the patients' charts. There was a significant under identification of developmental delay during SARS (18% versus 45%). Of those who responded to the mailed questionnaire, referrals for therapy rates were similar to non-SARS group. The lost to follow up rate was 24% for the SARS group compared with 7% for non-SARS. There was no difference in the overall rate of developmental delay in the two groups as identified at the 'after' visit.
Poor advanced planning led to a haphazard assessment of patients during this infectious disease outbreak. Future pandemic plans should consider planning for outpatient care as well as in hospital management of patients.
PMCID: PMC2914048  PMID: 20646293
3.  Identification of pain indicators for infants at risk for neurological impairment: A Delphi consensus study 
BMC Pediatrics  2006;6:1.
A number of infant pain measures have been developed over the past 15 years incorporating behavioural and physiologic indicators; however, no reliable or valid measure exists for infants who are at risk for neurological impairments (NI). The objective of this study was to establish consensus about which behavioural, physiologic and contextual indicators best characterize pain in infants at high, moderate and low levels of risk for NI.
A 39- item, self-administered electronic survey that included infant physiologic, behavioral and contextual pain indicators was used in a two round Delphi consensus exercise. Fourteen pediatric pain experts were polled individually and anonymously on the importance and usefulness of the pain indicators for the 3 differing levels of risk for NI.
The strength of agreement between expert raters was moderate in Round 1 and fair in Round 2. In general, pain indicators with the highest concordance for all three groups were brow bulge, facial grimace, eye squeeze, and inconsolability. Increased heart rate from baseline in the moderate and severe groups demonstrated high concordance. In the severe risk group, fluctuations in heart rate and reduced oxygen saturation were also highly rated.
These data constitute the first step in contributing to the development and validation of a pain measure for infants at risk for NI. In future research, we will integrate these findings with the opinions of (a) health care providers about the importance and usefulness of infant pain indicators and (b) the pain responses of infants at mild, moderate and high risk for NI.
PMCID: PMC1413531  PMID: 16457711
4.  Healthcare professionals' perceptions of pain in infants at risk for neurological impairment 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:23.
To determine whether healthcare professionals perceive the pain of infants differently due to their understanding of that infant's level of risk for neurological impairment.
Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU's) at two tertiary pediatric centers. Ninety-five healthcare professionals who practice in the NICU (50 nurses, 19 physicians, 17 respiratory therapists, 9 other) participated. They rated the pain (0–10 scale and 0–6 Faces Pain Scale), distress (0–10), effectiveness of cuddling to relieve pain (0–10) and time to calm without intervention (seconds) for nine video clips of neonates receiving a heel stick. Prior to each rating, they were provided with descriptions that suggested the infant had mild, moderate or severe risk for neurological impairment. Ratings were examined as a function of the level of risk described.
Professionals' ratings of pain, distress, and time to calm did not vary significantly with level of risk, but ratings of the effectiveness of cuddling were significantly lower as risk increased [F (2,93) = 4.4, p = .02]. No differences in ratings were found due to participants' age, gender or site of study. Physicians' ratings were significantly lower than nurses' across ratings.
Professionals provided with visual information regarding an infants' pain during a procedure did not display the belief that infants' level of risk for neurological impairment affected their pain experience. Professionals' estimates of the effectiveness of a nonpharmacological intervention did differ due to level of risk.
PMCID: PMC534106  PMID: 15541179

Results 1-4 (4)