Post-extubation atelectasis in ventilated newborn infants
Post-extubation atelectasis (PEA) constitutes the commonest cause of lung collapse in ventilated neonates. The clinical and radiological features of 47 ventilated infants who developed PEA within 24 h of extubation are reported. Three main radiographic patterns of atelectasis were identified: (1) transient unilobar collapse resolving within 12 h of extubation (19 cases), (2) multilobar atelectasis developing over a 48-h period (18 cases), and (3) progressive atelectasis resulting in complete collapse of a whole lung. A similar number of ventilated infants without PEA served as controls. We found a significant association between the incidence of PEA and multiple intubation (P<0.02), presence of patent ductus arteriosus (P<0.001) and neonatal sepsis (P<0.05). Prophylactic physiotherapy is recommended for ventilated infants, particularly those with the above risk factors.
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