Background ILCOR recommends that newborns with inadequate breathing or HR < 100 bpm be given respiratory support via a face mask in the delivery room (DR); however, it may be more effective if given to preterm infants via a single nasal prong (AKA short nasal tube, nasopharyngeal tube).
Aims To determine whether giving respiratory support to preterm infants via a nasal prong rather than a face mask results in fewer infants being intubated in the DR.
Methods Normally formed infants < 31 weeks’ are eligible for inclusion. Randomisation is stratified by gestational age (< 28 weeks, 28–30+ 6) and allocation is concealed in sealed opaque envelopes. With parental consent, infants are randomised just prior to delivery to single nasal prong (ETT shortened to 5cm) or face mask (Fisher & Paykel, Auckland NZ). Infants who have apnoea, respiratory distress and/or a HR < 100 bpm receive respiratory support with a t-piece. Infants are only intubated in the DR for apnoea and/or bradycardia despite PPV, not for surfactant administration. All other aspects of treatment in the DR and NICU are the same for both groups. Relevant secondary outcomes are recorded.
Results Since enrollment began (19.07.2010), 121 infants have been recruited and had the primary outcome determined. We expect the primary outcome will be determinable for the total sample of 142 infants by August 2012.
Conclusions This randomised trial will provide valuable information about the preferred interface to use when giving respiratory support to newborn preterm infants in the DR.