Bronchopulmonary dysplasia in infants with respiratory distress syndrome in a developing country: A prospective single centre-based study

Smith J. ; Kling S. ; Gie R.P. ; Van Zyl J. ; Kirsten G.F. ; Nel E.D. ; Schneider J.W. (1996)


The aim of this prospective study was to determine the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in and the outcome of neonates ventilated for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). The study was conducted in a developing country prior to the use of surfactant replacement therapy and the results are compared to published reports from the developed world. BPD was defined as oxygen dependency beyond day 28 of life. The incidence of BPD over a 9-month-period was 8.2% of all neonates requiring ventilation (n = 169) and 41% (n = 38) of neonates ventilated for RDS (n = 92). Of those neonates who developed BPD, 26% were still being ventilated on day 28. Of the infants, 21 (55%) developed type 1 BPD and 17 (45%) type 2 BPD. There was no statistical difference in the severity of lung disease on any of the study days between type 1 and type 2 BPD although neonates with type 2 BPD required assisted ventilation and supplemental oxygen for a longer period: 30 versus 12 days and 95 versus 49 days, respectively. Of those neonates who developed BPD, 8 (21%) died prior to discharge from hospital and a further 5 infants (17%) died subsequent to discharge. Of the latter five, three died from treatable causes (gastroenteritis n = 2, pneumonia n = 1). Of the 25 (83%) children seen at follow up, 68% were developing normally, 20% were classified as having suspect development and 12% had developed cerebral palsy at corrected postnatal ages of 12-24 months. None of the results differed significantly from those of neonates being ventilated in the developed world, except for the causes of post-discharge deaths. Conclusion. Health services providing ventilation for neonates in the developing world will have to take the needs of children with BPD into account when planning a neonatal service which should include among others a widely available and easily accessible primary health care system.

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