Transport of very preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome using nasal continuous positive airway pressure

Abstract. AIM: To audit clinical practice during transport of very preterm infants (<32 weeks) with acute respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) receiving nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP). METHODS: Retrospective cohort study. RESULTS: Twenty-seven infants were receiving NCPAP before transport team's arrival, and 23 were commenced on NCPAP after team's arrival. Six infants (12%) failed NCPAP before transfer, 2 infants (4.5%) failed NCPAP less than 24 hours, and 5 infants (11.3%) failed more than 24 hours – 7 days following admission. None died or developed pneumothorax during, or 7 days after admission. We did not observe NCPAP failure during transfer. There was a statistically significant difference between the NCPAP success and NCPAP failure groups for FiO2 at admission (p < 0.05), and the duration of NCPAP (p < 0.05). CONCLUSION: NCPAP is a potentially safe and effective mode of respiratory support for very preterm infants during ground, and air transports.

*Corresponding Author: 

Dr. Pranav Jani, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia. Tel.:+61 2 98457375; Fax: +61 2 98457490; E-mail: