Background and aims Respiratory incidents are a common problem in preterm infants. There is no uniform and international accepted definition of the ways these incidents presents themselves nor of the ways infants are handled by nurses to recover from such an incident.
Methods First a study of the literature was performed. Secondly a survey with open ended questions was conducted among Intensive Care Neonatal nurses and doctors of the NICU in the Emma Children’s’ Hospital/Academic Medical Centre. Respondents were asked to describe a respirator incident as well as duration (short or long) and intensity (mild or intense) of the handling of the incident and the presentation (isolated, cluster or prolonged) of incident. Thirdly descriptions were formulated and an attempt for consensus was executed.
Results Response rate for the consensus part was 69 (94% female and 80% nurses). Thirty-five percent was attached to the NICU for less than five years, 30% between five and 15 years and 35% for more than 15 years. Consensus was reached on the description of a respirator incident (72.5%), on handling of an incident concerning duration; short- (73.9%), long- (79.7%), mild- (84.1%) and intense stimulation (84.0%) as well as on the presentation of an incident; isolated- (72.5%), clustered- (76.8%) or persistent incident (84.1%).
Conclusions Implementation of the descriptions formulated in this study could lead to a more common language among professionals in the care of the preterm infant suffering from respiratory insufficiency. Professionals speaking the same language will result in a better quality of care.