Simple car seat insert to prevent upper airway narrowing in preterm infants: a pilot study.
ABSTRACT To test prospectively the hypothesis that an infant car seat modification to allow the infant's head to rest in a neutral position on the trunk would prevent narrowing of the upper airway and thus reduce oxygen desaturation in preterm infants who are restrained in car seats.
Seventeen preterm infants who were approved for discharge were evaluated in a car seat for newborns, with and without a foam insert that provided a slot for the back of the infants' head. Respiration timed inspiratory radiographs for assessment of upper airway dimensions were taken during quiet sleep in each position. Infants were monitored in each position for 30 minutes with continuous polygraphic recording of respiratory, cardiac, and nasal airflow activity and pulse oximetry.
Placement of the insert in the car seat was associated with a larger upper airway space (mean +/- standard deviation, 5.2 +/- 1.3 vs 3.6 +/- 1.4 mm). This radiologic improvement was associated with a significant reduction in the frequency of episodes of oxygen desaturation to <85% (1.5 +/- 2.1 vs 3.5 +/- 3.5 episodes/infant), of bradycardia <90 bpm (0.1 +/- 0.3 vs 1 +/- 1.7), and of arousal (median [25th, 75th], 2.5 [1.3, 4.0] vs 5.0 [4.0, 7.0]).
The cause of oxygen desaturation in preterm infants who are restrained in car seats is multifactorial. The present data strongly support the hypothesis that flexion of the head on the body is a significant contributor to these episodes and that the mechanism is posterocephalic displacement of the mandible, leading to narrowing of the upper airway. Critically, this pilot study demonstrates that the frequency of episodes of desaturation in a standard newborn car seat can be substantially reduced by placement of a simple foam insert that allows the infant to maintain the head in a neutral position on the trunk during sleep.
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ABSTRACT: The Task Force of The American Academy of Pediatrics (1996) recommends the nonprone sleeping position for asymptomatic preterm infants to prevent sudden infant death syndrome. The mechanism by which the nonprone sleeping position reduces the rate of sudden infant death syndrome is unclear for full-term infants and the precise effect of sleeping position on sleep and cardiorespiratory characteristics has never been addressed in preterm infants. The purpose of the present study was to clarify the effect of sleeping position on sleep and cardiorespiratory characteristics in preterm infants at an age when they are ready for discharge. Sixteen asymptomatic preterm infants were studied in both supine and prone sleeping positions at 36.5 +/- 0.6 weeks' postconceptional age using videosomnography. Sleep, respiratory, and heart rate characteristics were compared between the two positions using each infant as his/her own control. More awakenings (ie, arousals >/=60 seconds) were seen during all sleep states in the supine sleeping position but overall the total sleep and percent sleep state were not affected by sleeping position. After each feeding, the first quiet sleep was significantly shorter, with more heart rate variability and awakenings in the supine position. There were no significant differences in the occurrence of arousals (<60 seconds) or the incidence or severity of apnea and periodic breathing. No clinically significant apnea (>/=15 seconds), bradycardia, or oxygen desaturations were seen. In 36-week-postconceptional age preterm infants, the supine sleeping position had less quiet sleep and was associated with greater heart rate variability during the first sleep cycle after the feeding. More awakenings were seen during all sleep states in the supine position. These data support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation for "Back to Sleep" for asymptomatic preterm infants because more awakenings and lower threshold for arousal may provide some benefit for the infant responding to a life-threatening event. However, further studies are needed to address positional effect on the physiologic measures in preterm infants at older ages (later stages of development). Precisely what constitutes the most healthy or advantageous sleep for newborn infants remains an important question.PEDIATRICS 03/1999; 103(3):603-9. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Since the danger of prone sleeping in the first 6 months of life has been publicised, there has been a dramatic and consistent reduction in the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). However, unexpected infant deaths and apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs) continue to occur that are clearly not associated with known epidemiological risk factors. To review the unique features of the anatomy and function of the upper airway of the young infant which contribute to increased vulnerability to hypoxia in this age group. We discuss the clinical identification of those infants at risk of obstruction or restriction of the upper airway and the management of the 'at risk' infant. In the era after the "back to sleep" campaigns, it is likely that an increasing proportion of cases of ALTEs and SIDS will be related to obstruction or limitation of upper airway size leading to sleep hypoxia/asphyxia. This type of problem may be anticipated by evaluation and investigation of infants with signs or a clinical history consistent with possible upper respiratory tract compromise, including micrognathia.Early Human Development 03/2002; 66(2):107-21. · 2.02 Impact Factor
- Journal of Pediatrics 01/1977; 89(6):982-5. · 4.04 Impact Factor