Improved growth and developmental activity post tracheostomy in preterm infants with severe BPD
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OBJECTIVES: To examine growth, sedation needs, and participation in developmental activities before and after tracheostomy among infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of infants born at <32 weeks' gestation or birth weights <1500 g with severe BPD who underwent tracheostomy placement between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2016 in a quaternary referral newborn and infant intensive care unit. Changes in growth parameters and frequency/type of participation in physical therapy sessions performed during the 4-weeks before tracheostomy and 4-weeks after the first tracheostomy tube change were compared. RESULTS: A total of 72 patient were included in the study. Average weekly gain in weight, length, and head circumference were significantly higher during the 4-week period after compared to before tracheostomy. The most significant change occurred for linear growth (0.71 ± 0.40 cm/wk pre vs 0.97 ± 0.48 cm/wk pre, P < 0.001). Median Z score improved for weight (pre -1.42 [-3,10, -0.33] vs post -0.91 [-2.7, 0.27], P < 0.001), length (pre -3.07 [-4.39, -1.31] vs post -1.95 [-3.83, -0.93], P < 0.001) and weight-to-length ratio (pre 1.66 [0.58, 2.55] vs post 1.32 [0.17, 2.2], P = 0.02). Participation in developmental therapies significantly improved post tracheostomy (pre vs post: 5.2 ± 2.9 vs 8.7 ± 4.3 sessions performed over 4 weeks, P < 0.0001). Physical therapy sessions more often promoted developmental skill acquisition after tracheostomy compared to facilitating physiologic stability before tracheostomy. Daily sedation requirements decreased post tracheostomy. CONCLUSIONS: Tracheostomy was associated with improved proportional growth and increased participation in activities promoting developmental skill acquisition and reduced daily sedation requirements in preterm infants with severe BPD.
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