Objectives To compare early respiratory care of preterm babies in the regional intensive care unit in 1993, 2003 and 2006.
Methods This retrospective study obtained data from NICORE (Northern Ireland Neonatal Database). Data was collected on all babies born ⩽30 wks gestation in 2006 surfactant usage, timing of first dose, duration of respiratory support, oxygen supplementation and respiratory outcome. BPD was defined as oxygen requirement >36 weeks post conceptional age (PCA). This was compared with data from similar groups of babies in 1993 and 2003.
Results See table
Results are represented as % and median (interquartile range).
Conclusions Extremely preterm babies are receiving more targeted and selective respiratory care in terms of surfactant administration and mechanical ventilation. Mortality is decreasing but BPD continues to rise despite increased use of targeted postnatal steroids.