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September 1962

Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Premature Infants: An Evaluation of the Early Feeding of Glucose Water

Author Affiliations

C. Henry Kempe, M.D., University of Colorado Medical Center, 4200 E. 9th Ave., Denver 20, Colo.; Premature Infant Center, University of Colorado Medical Center (Dr. O'Brien).; John and Mary Markle Foundation Scholar in Medical Sciences (Dr. O'Brien).

Am J Dis Child. 1962;104(3):230-234. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080030232004

In the management of the respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants, attempts have been made to treat acidosis and hyperkalemia by the early intravenous administration of sodium bicarbonate and dextrose solutions.1 Although the effectiveness of such a regimen in a controlled trial was limited to infants weighing more than 1,700 gm.,2 the protection of all affected premature infants from acidosis, hyperkalemia, and possibly hypoglycemia has a logical appeal.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of 2 of the components of such homeostatic therapy, namely, glucose and water, upon the survival rate of premature infants with the respiratory distress syndrome. It was decided to do this by administering a 20% dextrose solution through an indwelling nasogastric tube, since this approach, if successful, would offer considerable practical advantage to the physician. It was known that larger infants had tolerated such a concentration of glucose solution during