Does Variable Ventilation Offer Physiological and Biological Benefits for the Preterm Lung? [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Also known as: Does adding variability to mechanical ventilation help to optimise function and minimise injury in the preterm lung?

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers: A/Pr Jane Pillow (Principal investigator) ,  Prof Alan Jobe A/Pr Timothy Moss A/Pr Bela Suki

Brief description Lung disease is a significant cause of illness at birth, subsequent breathing problems and death in very premature babies. We know that chronic preterm lung disease results in part from the immature state of the lung at birth, but it appears that inflammation of the lung also plays an important role. We, and others, have shown that this lung inflammation can be a response to injury from mechanical ventilation after birth. In the past, we have sought to strictly control the way that babies are ventilated. We have regulated the pressures used to inflate their lungs, the amount of volume delivered to the lung, the amount of time that the baby has to take a breath. This is a marked contrast to breathing patterns in healthy infants and adults, in which each of these things vary considerably from breath to breath. Recent studies have shown that the presence of variability in breathing patterns is actual essential to the process of staying healthy and maintaining resting lung volume above a critical lower limit. This study will provide unique insights into a new and potentially highly beneficial approaches to ventilation for preterm infants. We will determine if there is a significant clinical benefit of incorporating variability into the ventilatory waveform used to treat newborn babies with lung disease. has the potential to cause a paradigm shift in current concepts of preterm infant ventilatory strategies. Potential long term outcomes include significantly reducing illness and death associated with preterm birth, and promoting a healthier start to life for the over 6000 infants who require ventilatory assistance each year within the Australian and New Zealand neonatal network.

Funding Amount $AUD 320,278.65

Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants

Notes Standard Project Grant

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