Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
Liverpool Hospital, Elizabeth St, Liverpool, NSW, Australia
Address for correspondence: N.A. Legge, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Missenden Road, Camperdown, NSW 2050, Australia. Tel.: +61 431478676; E-mail: Nele.Legge@health.nsw.gov.au.
Abstract: BACKGROUND:This study investigates trends in methods of surfactant administration and early respiratory management in neonatal intensive care units [NICU] in New South Wales [NSW] and the Australian Capital Territory [ACT] in 2015 and evaluate whether differences in practice translate to variances in short term outcomes. METHODS:Surveys were sent to NICUs in NSW and ACT to ascertain their practice of surfactant administration and respiratory management. A retrospective data analysis with data from the NICUS database from 01/01/2013-30/06/2015 was performed. Included were all patients that received Surfactant, were inborn, without major malformation, ≥24 weeks gestational age [GA] and birthweight ≥500 g. Major respiratory outcome measures were time ventilated, air leak, oxygen requirement at 36 weeks corrected gestational age [cGA], home oxygen therapy after discharge and retinopathy of prematurity [ROP]. Along with this data demographic and morbidity data was also obtained for comparison [mortality, necrotizing enterocolitis [NEC], persistent ductus arteriosus [PDA], intraventricular hemorrhage [IVH]. RESULTS:1453 patients met inclusion criteria. Patient data comparing major respiratory outcomes showed patients receiving less invasive Surfactant therapy and respiratory management spent longer time on CPAP [559 vs. 407 hrs, p = 0.01] and in the older gestation subgroups less time on mechanical ventilation [18 vs. 50 hrs p = <0.001] and were discharged earlier [48 vs. 54 days, p = 0.03]. There was however, higher rates of oxygen requirement at 36 weeks cGA [33 vs. 26.3% p = 0.01] and a higher proportion of home oxygen in this patient group [11.3 vs. 7.1% p = 0.03]. Major morbidity outcome data showed no significant differences. CONCLUSIONS:Less invasive Surfactant therapy and gentle early respiratory management should be considered as a viable alternative to established methods of surfactant administration and ventilation.