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May 1973

Idiopathic Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Treatment With Continuous Negative-Pressure Ventilation

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the Department of Child Health and Development, George Washington University, Washington, DC. Dr. Ballard is now with Mt. Zion Hospital and Medical Center, San Francisco; Dr. Kraybill is now with the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Dr. Hernandez is now with the Department of Pediatrics, San Marcos University, Lima, Peru; Dr. Blankenship is now with the Neonatal Unit of the Sacramento Medical Center of the University of California at Davis, Sacramento.

Am J Dis Child. 1973;125(5):676-681. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.04160050030006

During the 30-month period between May 1969, and October 1971, 6,991 live infants were delivered at George Washington University Hospital. Seventy-nine infants (1.1%) developed idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS). Twenty-six infants were judged to have ventilatory failure requiring assisted ventilation. Continuous negative-pressure ventilation (CNPV) was instituted for varying periods in these infants. Among the 26 infants with respiratory failure who were treated by this method, 19 (73%) survived and 7 (27%) died. Of teh total 79 infants with IRDS, 66 (84%) survived and 13 (16%) died.

Complications encountered during mechanical ventilation of the infants are discussed as well as advantages and disadvantages of the procedure. The overall experience with mechanically assisted ventilation, using CNPV in infants with respiratory failure due to IRDS, suggests that improved survival rates can be obtained without significant complications.