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March 1989

Home Oxygen Therapy for Chronic Lung Disease in Extremely Low-Birth-Weight Infants

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(3):357-360. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150150115028

• Chronic lung disease that requires prolonged oxygen therapy commonly complicates the recovery of extremely low-birth-weight infants (<1000 g). We report follow-up data through 18.5±0.9 (mean±SEM) months of age in 30 extremely low-birth-weight infants (birth weight, 783±24 g; gestational age, 26.0±0.3 weeks) who were discharged home receiving supplemental oxygen. Oxygen was prescribed to maintain arterial oxygen saturation at 95% or greater. At discharge, postconceptional age was 40.5±0.6 weeks, and weight was 2220±50 g. Duration of home oxygen therapy was 4.5±0.5 months. The mean weight percentile increased from less than 5 to 23 between discharge and the last follow-up. All infants survived; only 6 required hospitalization for acute medical illnesses. We conclude that carefully supervised home oxygen therapy permits the safe early discharge of selected extremely low-birth-weight infants with chronic lung disease.

(AJDC. 1989;143:357-360)