Background Nasal ways of ventilation are being used to minimize lung damage due to endotracheal ventilation. Both nCPAP and nIPPV are progressively being more used in neonatal units, in spite of the lack of evidence about the best mode of delivery of nasal ventilation or the appropiate ventilatory parameters.
The Aim of this study was to assess the current state of the application of nCPAP and nIPPV in Spanish neonatal units.
Methods A survey was designed and sent by email to neonatal units which were applying nCPAP. The survey collected information about the devices, the indications of use and the ventilatory parameters used when delivering nasal ventilation over 2010. It was also questioned whether a guideline was followed.
Results 87 out of 115 questionnaires were answered and returned (75.6%). All the surveyed units used nCPAP and the most frequent indications were: apnoea treatment (87/87; 100%) and respiratory distress before surfactant therapy (85/8; 97.7%). 71 units used nIPPV (81.6%) in order to succeed in extubation (66/71; 92.9%) and for treatment of apnoeas (63/71; 88.7%). Most of the units used variable flow devices to deliver nCPAP (64/87; 73.5%) and nIPPV (48/71; 67.6%). 72 units (82.7%) followed national guidelines at the time of starting non invasive ventilation. The most used interface was short binasal prongs (58/87; 66.6%).
Conclusion Both nCPAP and nIPPV are significantly used in Spanish neonatal units following the recommendations of the available national guidelines.