Health Watch - Treating Children: Oxygen for Infants

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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about research focusing on health issues for children. Infants born prematurely often need extra help breathing because their lungs aren’t fully developed. But what’s the best way to deliver that help?

A recent nationwide study found that intubation, the standard way of giving pre-term infants oxygen, may not be the best. Usually, doctors insert a tube into the baby’s windpipe, and oxygen, along with a compound that helps the lungs expand, is blown down that tube. Doctors also studied the use of continuous positive airway pressure – or CPAP – machines that gently blow air through infants’ nostrils.

Dr. Pablo Sanchez, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center who participated in this study, said the study found that infants who received CPAP treatment needed intubation less often, spent less time in intensive care and required less steroid treatment.

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July 2010


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