Hyaline membrane disease, alkali, and intraventricular haemorrhage.
The relation between intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) and hyaline membrane disease (HMD) was studied in singletons that came to necropsy at Hammersmith Hospital over the years 1966-73. The incidence of IVH in singleton live births was 3-22/1000 and of HMD 4-44/1000. Although the high figures were partily due to the large number of low birthweight infants born at this hospital, the incidence of IVH in babies weighing 1001-1500 g was three times as great as that reported in the 1658 British Perinatal Mortality Survey. Most IVH deaths were in babies with HMD, but the higher frequency of IVH was not associated with any prolongation of survival time of babies who died with HMD as compared with the 1958 survey. IVH was seen frequently at gestations of up to 36 weeks in babies with HMD but was rare above 30 weeks' gestation in babies without HMD. This indicated that factors associated with HMD must cause most cases of IVH seen at gestations above 30 weeks. Comparison of clinical details in infants with HMD who died with or without IVH (at gestations of 30-37 weeks) showed no significant differences between the groups other than a high incidence of fits and greater use of alkali therapy in the babies with IVH. During the 12 hours when most alkali therapy was given, babies dying with IVD received a mean total alkali dosage of 10-21 mmol/kg and those dying without IVH 6-34 mmol/kg (P less than 0-001). There was no difference in severity of hypoxia or of metabolic acidosis between the 2 groups. Babies who died with HMD and germinal layer haemorrhage (GLH) without IVH had received significantly more alkali than those who died with HMD alone, whereas survivors of severe respiratory distress syndrome had received lower alkali doses than other groups. It is suggested that the greatly increased death rate from IVH in babies with HMD indicates some alteration of management of HMD (since 1958) as a causative factor. Liberal use of hypertonic alkali solutions is the common factor which distinguishes babies dying with GLH and IVH from other groups of babies with HMD. Although the causal nature of this association remains unproved, it seems justifiable to lrge caution in alkali usage. (+info)
Randomised controlled trial of low dose fentanyl infusion in preterm infants with hyaline membrane disease.
AIM: To evaluate the effects of low dose fentanyl infusion analgesia on behavioural and neuroendocrine stress response and short term outcome in premature infants ventilated for hyaline membrane disease. METHODS: Twenty seven ventilated preterm infants were randomly assigned to receive a mean fentanyl infusion of 1.1 (0.08 SE) micrograms/kg/h for 75 (5) hours, and 28 untreated infants were considered a control group. A behavioural sedation score was used to assess the infants' behaviour. Urinary metanephrine and the normetanephrine:creatinine molar ratio were determined at 0, 24, 48 and 72 hours. Outcome data and ventilatory indexes were recorded for each infant. RESULTS: The fentanyl group showed significantly lower behavioural stress scores and O2 desaturations than controls and lower urinary concentrations of metanephrine and normetanephrine at 24, 48, 72 hours. The two groups showed no significant difference in ventilatory variables or short term outcome. CONCLUSIONS: A short course of low dose fentanyl infusion reduces behavioural sedation scores, O2 desaturations and neuroendocrine stress response in preterm ventilated infants. (+info)
Haemodynamic effects of altering arterial oxygen saturation in preterm infants with respiratory failure.
AIMS: To examine the haemodynamic effects of brief alteration in arterial oxygenation in preterm infants with respiratory failure. METHODS: Eighteen preterm infants with respiratory failure, aged 9-76 hours, underwent detailed Doppler echocardiographic assessment at 86%, 96%, and 100% SaO2, achieved by altering the FIO2. Sixteen were receiving intermittent positive pressure ventilation, median FIO2 0.45 (0.20-0.65), median mean airway pressure 12 cm H2O (0-20). SaO2 was stable for 15 minutes at each stage. Four parameters of pulmonary arterial pressure were measured: peak velocity of tricuspid regurgitation and peak velocity of left to right ductal flow, TPV:RVET ratio and PEP:RVET ratio, measured at the pulmonary valve, along with flow velocity integrals at the aortic and pulmonary valves, and systemic arterial pressure. Ductal size was graded into closed, small, moderate, large with imaging, pulsed and continuous wave Doppler. RESULTS: Between 86% and 96% SaO2, there were no consistent changes, but in three of the 12 with a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) there was ductal constriction, with complete closure in one. Between 96% and 100% SaO2, peak ductal flow velocity rose significantly in four of eight with a PDA. Ductal constriction occurred in four infants; in three this was associated with a significant fall in aortic flow integral and a rise in aortic pressure (4-6 mm Hg). Overall, 11 infants went from 86% to 100% SaO2 and pulmonary arterial pressure fell significantly in seven. CONCLUSION: A brief rise in SaO2 within the range maintained by most neonatal units can cause significant ductal constriction. The fall in pulmonary arterial pressure with 100% SaO2 seen in most infants was associated with a fall in pulmonary blood flow (or no change), rather than a rise, indicating that the dominant haemodynamic effect was ductal constriction rather than pulmonary vasodilation. (+info)
Pneumothorax in the newborn. Changing pattern.
The clinical course of pneumothorax and its allied conditions was studied in 34 newborn infants who presented over a 2 1/2-year period. We found an overall incidence of 3/1000 live births. 11 term infants without obvious pulmonary pathology presented early (9 within minutes of birth); 6 of these had aspirated meconium or blood. The remaining 23 were preterm infants with hyaline membrane disease (HMD) and accounted for 68% of the infants in this series. In contrast, they presented late (mean 45 hours) and 16 were on continuous distending pressure (CDP) or intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) at the onset of pneumothorax. 15% of all infants with HMD who required CDP/IPPV developed pneumothorax; this increased incidence was most evident in infants who received CDP only. All except 2 of the 11 term infants in the first group were managed conservatively and all survived. Wehn pneumothorax occurred as a complication of HMD in preterm infants, 14 of the 16 infants required intrapleural drainage. Persistence or recurrence of pneumothorax occurred in 9 infants, 7 of whom were receiving CDP/IPPV at the time. Lung expansion was affected only after replacement with a patent chest drain through the same incision or insertion of a second drain on the same side of the chest. All 5 deaths occurred in the group of preterm infants with HMD. 3 resulted directly form respiratory failure due to severe HMD complicated by pneumothorax. We emphasize the increasing importance of pneumothorax as a complication of HMD in preterm infants, particularly in those receiving CDP. Successful management depends on prompt diagnosis and treatment of pneumothorax, which may occur as unexplained sudden deterioration at any time during the course of illness in this group of high risk infants. (+info)
Early neonatal hypocalcaemia.
In our hospital early neonatal hypocalcaemia is now the major cause of low serum calcium in the neonatal period. Over a 2-year period, only 2 cases of hypocalcaemic convulsions were seen in a total of 8700 deliveries, though 51 infants had early neonatal hypocalcaemia. All sick low birth-weight infants should have daily serum calcium estimations carried out. Calcium supplements should be considered if symptoms of hypocalcaemia are present. (+info)
SUMMARY: Pneumopericardium developed in three newborn infants, including a set of twins, with respiratory distress syndrome. The rarity of this condition and its occurrence in two newborns suggest an anatomic predisposition, especially in premature infants requiring assisted ventilation. Two of the infants died; one had undergone pericardiocentesis. From a review of the literature and from our cases we conclude that conservative therapy appears warranted in cases of isolated pneumopericardium although the number of cases reported is too small to provide a definite answer. (+info)
Primary peritonitis in infancy and childhood.
Primary peritonitis, rarely diagnosed preoperatively, is an uncommon disease accounting for 2.1% of all pediatric abdominal emergencies. It is often associated with urinary or hepatic pathology, the former the source of the infecting organism in the majority of cases, and presents with characteristic symptoms depending upon whether it occurs in infancy or childhood. The symptoms and signs which allow for a positive prospective diagnosis are illustrated by comparing this disease to those entities with which it is most often confused, e.g. diffuse peritonitis of other etiologies, and include a short duration of symptoms, associated urinary tract infection and an absence of free air on abdominal roentgenograms. In the past, gram positive organisms were the most common infecting agent; however, in this series gram negative bacteria accounted for 69% or the organisms. Antibiotics with a gram negative spectrum and exploratory laparotomy with appendectomy are the hallmarks of therapy, the latter replaced by abdominal tap only in the patient who satisfies the criteria for primary peritonitis and in whom an associated disease makes the risk of surgery prohibitive. (+info)
Lactobacillus acidophilus sepsis in a neonate.
Lactobacillus species are non-spore-forming, anaerobic, gram-positive rods that cause disease in immunocompromised adults. Few cases have been described in children. We present the case of a 2-month-old infant who apparently developed Lactobacillus acidophilus sepsis from an infected central venous catheter. Physicians should be aware that although Lactobacillus species rarely cause disease in children, they should be considered a possible pathogen when isolated from the blood of a newborn infant. (+info)