Premature babies have difficulty breathing. This can lead to hypoxia and cause brain damage. However, damage can also happen if there is too much oxygen. Two studies were reported that may point to a new way to balance oxygen levels in ventilators for babies that would get them off a ventilator sooner. Medical Xpress reports.
Birth Injury Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
One of the things doctors want to see in a baby is spontaneous breathing. But in premature infants, they may not have the strength to do that. The longer they are on a ventilator, the higher certain risks become. Doctors wanted to see if giving pure oxygen to a baby would encourage them to take breaths sooner.
Two studies were performed. The first study used premature rabbits to see if using pure oxygen would help them breathe sooner and more deeply. The hypothesis was correct. Breathing was more stable.
Once there was proof, they were able to move to human subjects. 52 babies were studied, half on a standard air mixture for ventilators, the other on 100% oxygen. The babies on pure oxygen put more effort into breathing and had better oxygen levels in the body.
However, the study also looked at ways to control the percentage of oxygen to avoid damage. Using pulse oximeters, they adjusted the percentage down as the baby was able to breathe better on their own.
The next step is to incorporate this new technique into a clinical practice study to see if it works better than standard methods of care for premature babies.