Summary: Considerable progress has been made regarding children’s morbidity and mortality. Nonetheless, recent developments have been insufficient to meet set targets. This study aims to evaluate trends and outcomes in respiratory management following a 14-year collaboration with the Vermont Oxford Network (VON).
Methods: Data were collected prospectively at a Level III NICU in the North of Portugal and submitted to the VON between 2000 and 2013. The primary outcome was bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Pneumothorax and respiratory distress syndrome were secondary outcomes.
Results: A total of 323 very low birth weight infants hospitalised in our centre met the inclusion criteria. Significant changes were observed with supplemental oxygen use and endotracheal intubation decreasing, whilst surfactant use rose. Conventional ventilation techniques at any time were used less often. No differences in the rates of BPD were observed.
Conclusion: A review of current practice has led to a more cautious approach, privileging less invasive ventilatory techniques and pondered oxygen supplementation, albeit with no significant improvement in the evaluated respiratory outcomes.