Background: Between 32 and 34 weeks postconceptional age (PCA), premature infants typically achieve neuromuscular maturation to initiate the coordination of a nutritive suck triad. Many premature infants also require intubation, which has been associated with dysphagia in adults and infants. At our institution, despite these factors, some infants have been noted to tolerate oral feeds while on continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Aims: Compare the clinical characteristics and duration of intubation in infants that initiate oral feedings on CPAP to infants that did not begin oral feeding on CPAP. Study design: Retrospective case control study. Subjects: Infants with gestational age < 32 weeks who required CPAP at 32 weeks PCA. Outcome measures: Oral feeding was defined as any oral feed ≥5 ml. Duration of intubation was defined as the number of intubated days prior to 32 weeks PCA. Results: Of the 243 infants on CPAP at 32 weeks PCA, 31% (n = 76) began oral feeding on CPAP. Infants who initiated oral feeding on CPAP were of younger gestational age at birth (median 26 versus 27 weeks, p < 0.001) and remained intubated for longer (median 10.5 versus 2 days, p < 0.001). Conclusions: Infants who began oral feeding on CPAP had lower gestational age and longer duration of intubation than infants who started oral feeding off CPAP.
- Continuous positive airway pressure
- Oral feeding
- Premature infant
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology