Warming and humidifying inspiratory gases to minimise lung injury during resuscitation of extremely preterm infants.

Chief Investigator: Dr Scott Morris

Funding Amount: $31,350

Recipient: Flinders University


Extremely preterm babies have a high risk of lung damage leading to chronic lung disease. The cold and dry medical gases routinely used when resuscitating very small babies may damage the airway lining and contribute to chronic lung disease. Using warm and humid gases for resuscitation could be a very simple way to reduce damage to the lung. In this study we will compare cold dry gas with warm humid gas when resuscitating extremely preterm babies. If warm humid gas is less damaging, then an immediate benefit in health outcomes could be achieved with a change in clinical practice.

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Researchers: Dr Scott Morris, Dr Ray Farley, Dr Shailesh Bihari, Associate Professor Dani-Louise Dixon, Professor Richard Woodman

Research Completed: 2020

Research Findings: This study provides preliminary evidence that warming and humidifying gases during resuscitation of extremely preterm babies does not reduce injury to the delicate lining of the small air spaces within the lung. There was also no effect of warming and humidifying gases on blood vessels. However, extreme preterm birth itself appears to be associated with changes in signalling molecules that could impact on the development of the blood vessels and air spaces in the immature lung of preterm babies.

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