Inflation and oesophageal pressures were recorded simultaneously during bag and mask resuscitation of 9 asphyxiated babies. After half a minute of standard inflation pressures, higher pressures were applied for at least 5 inflations by occluding the blow-off valve. No air entered the oesophagus until a high mean inflation pressure of 5.4 kPa was exceeded. These findings were confirmed in 4 fresh stillborn babies studied similarly. We conclude that resuscitation using bag and mask, applying pressures less than 3.5 kPa, should not lead to gastric distension.
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