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Noninvasive Ventilation in Premature Neonates

Flanagan, Keri Ann MSN, RNC-NIC, NNP-BC

Section Editor(s): Newnam, Katherine

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000273
Special Series: Respiratory Management

Background: The use of noninvasive ventilation is a constantly evolving treatment option for respiratory disease in the premature infant. The goals of these noninvasive ventilation techniques are to improve gas exchange in the premature infant's lungs and to minimize the need for intubation and invasive mechanical ventilation.

Purpose: The goals of this article are to consider various uses of nasal interfaces, discuss skin care and developmental positioning concerns faced by the bedside nurse, and discuss the medical management aimed to reduce morbidity and mortality. This article explores the nursing role, the advances in medical strategies for noninvasive ventilation, and the team approach to noninvasive ventilation use in this population.

Search Strategy: Search strategy included a literature review on medical databases, such as EBSCOhost, CINAHL, PubMed, and NeoReviews.

Findings: Innovative products, nursing research on developmental positioning and skin care, and advanced medical management have led to better and safer outcomes for premature infants requiring noninvasive ventilation.

Implications for Practice: The medical focus of avoiding long-term mechanical ventilation would not be possible without the technology to provide noninvasive ventilation to these premature infants and the watchful eye of the nurse in terms of careful positioning, preventing skin breakdown and facial scarring, and a proper seal to maximize ventilation accuracy.

Implications for Research: This article encourages nursing-based research to quantify some of the knowledge about skin care and positioning as well as research into most appropriate uses for noninvasive ventilation devices.

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia.

Correspondence: Keri Ann Flanagan, MSN, RNC-NIC, NNP-BC, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (

The author declares no conflict of interest.

© 2016 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses