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Prevention of Nasal Injuries Secondary to NCPAP Application in the ELBW Infant

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Improved technology and management approaches that have reduced bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have decreased mortality and morbidity in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants. Early extubation to nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) decreases the complications associated with long-term oral/nasal endotracheal intubation, including BPD, ventilatorassociated pneumonia, volutrauma, subglottic stenosis, oral palatal grooves, and nasal septum erosion. Research and anecdotal evidence have shown that iatrogenic injuries to the nose also occur with extended time on NCPAP. Research observing associations between the patient interface and nasal injury has shown duration of therapy to be the most significant risk factor. Immature skin and developing nasal structures place ELBW infants at increased risk for injury. The challenge for NICU caregivers is maintaining the ELBW infant on NCPAP for extended periods without nasal injury. Appropriate protocols, practice guidelines, and staff education can decrease these injuries.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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