Respiratory Support of Neonate Affected by Bronchiolitis in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Acute respiratory infections are very common medical emergency in early infancy, often requiring hospitalization. The most frequent respiratory infection at this stage of life is bronchiolitis, with a benign course in the majority of cases. However, especially during neonatal period, infants are at higher risk for developing complications, and ventilatory support of various degrees is needed. The two most widespread methods to provide noninvasive respiratory support are heated humidified high-flow nasal cannula and nasal continuous positive airway pressure. They are both used in neonatal intensive care unit to treat respiratory distress syndrome of the premature infants, and the main concept of recruiting and distending alveoli is valid also for respiratory failure occurring during bronchiolitis. However, there is still ongoing debate about the superiority of one method, and their real efficacy still need to be confirmed. Once respiratory failure does not respond to noninvasive ventilation, more intensive care must be provided in the form of conventional mechanical ventilation or high-frequency ventilation. There is currently no evidence of the optimal ventilation strategy to use, and a deeper comprehension of the pulmonary mechanics during bronchiolitis would be desirable to tailor ventilation according to the degree of severity. Further research is then urgently needed to better clarify these aspects.
Guidelines on the management of bronchiolitis in neonatal population are lacking.
Noninvasive respiratory support is mostly delivered with HHHFNC and nCPAP.
A deeper comprehension of the pulmonary mechanics during bronchiolitis is crucial to tailor invasive ventilation.
08 September 2020 (online)
Thieme Medical Publishers
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