In babies of very low birth weight (less than 1500 g) we studied the effect of head up tilting on oxygenation, respiratory rate, heart rate and blood pressure (n = 23), on gastric emptying (n = 10), and on weight gain (n = 6). Head up tilting to 45 degrees achieved the best oxygenation at the angles studied, and decreased the respiratory and heart rates; there was no significant change in blood pressure. Residue in the stomach was also significantly less at 45 degrees, and the neonates' weight gain was higher. We conclude that nursing stable very low birthweight infants with a higher head up tilt than is conventional may have some advantages.
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