August 1993

The Oral Motor Development of Low-Birth-Weight Infants Who Underwent Orotracheal Intubation During the Neonatal Period

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Hospital (Drs Bier and Oh and Mss Ferguson and Cho) and Women and Infants' Hospital (Drs Oh and Vohr), Brown University School of Medicine, Providence, RI.

Am J Dis Child. 1993;147(8):858-862. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1993.02160320060020

• Objective.  —To investigate the potential development of oral motor problems following prolonged orotracheal intubation in low-birth-weight infants.

Design.  —Prospective observational.

Setting.  —Tertiary-care hospital.

Patients.  —Fifty-one low-birth-weight infants and 10 full-term infants divided into three groups—group 1 with 15 low-birth-weight infants (≤1250 g) who had been intubated for more than 1 week; group 2 with 36 low-birth-weight infants who had been intubated for 1 week or less; and group 3 with 10 full-term control infants.

Interventions.  —None.

Measurements and Results.  —Oral motor assessments of nutritive sucking were compared at corrected ages of term and 3 months. The results showed that low-birth-weight infants with prolonged intubation had significantly poorer sucking abilities at both term and 3 months. The number of days of oxygen use and the postnatal age (weeks) at which nipple feeding was begun were the most powerful predictors of sucking ability at term (P<.001), whereas the number of days of orotracheal intubation and gestational age at birth were the most powerful predictors of sucking ability at 3 months (P<.001).(AJDC. 1993;147:858-862)