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Optimal Conventional Mechanical Ventilation in Full-Term Newborns

A Systematic Review

Solberg, Marianne Trygg, PhD, MSN, RN; Solevåg, Anne Lee, MD, PhD; Clarke, Sara, BA, MA

Section Editor(s): Harris-Haman, Pamela A. DNP, CRNP, NNP-BC; ; Zukowsky, Ksenia PhD, APRN, NNP-BC;

doi: 10.1097/ANC.0000000000000525
Clinical Issues in Neonatal Care

Background: Most studies examining the best mechanical ventilation strategies in newborn infants have been performed in premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome.

Purpose: To identify and synthesize the evidence regarding optimal mechanical ventilation strategies in full-term newborns.

Methods: Systematic review carried out according to the methods described in the PRISMA statement.

Search Strategy: Searches in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library in March 2017, with an updated search and hand searches of reference lists of relevant articles in August 2017.

Study Selection: Studies were included if they were published between 1996 and 2017, involved newborns with gestational age of 37 to 42 weeks, were randomized controlled trials, intervention or crossover studies, and addressed outcomes affecting oxygenation and/or ventilation, and/or short-term outcomes including duration of mechanical ventilation. Because of the large heterogeneity between the studies, it was not possible to synthesize the results in meta-analyses. The results are presented according to thematic analysis.

Results: No individual study reported research exclusively in newborns 37 to 42 weeks of gestation. Eight studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria, but the population in all these studies included both premature and term newborns. Evidence about mechanical ventilation tailored exclusively to full-term newborns is scarce.

Implication for Practice: Synchronized intermittent mandatory ventilation with a 6 mL/kg tidal volume and a positive end-expiratory pressure of 8 cm H2O may be advantageous in full-term newborns.

Implication for Research: There is an urgent need for high-quality studies, preferably randomized controlled trials, in full-term newborns requiring mechanical ventilation to optimize oxygenation, ventilation, and short-term outcomes, potentially stratified according to the underlying pathology.

Department for Postgraduate Studies, and Library, Lovisenberg Diaconal University College, Oslo, Norway (Drs Solberg and Solevåg and Ms Clarke); and Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Akershus University Hospital, Lørenskog, Norway (Dr Solevåg).

Correspondence: Marianne Trygg Solberg, PhD, MSN, RN, Lovisenberg Diaconal University College, Lovisenberggt 15b, 0456 Oslo, Norway (

This study was conducted at Lovisenberg Diaconal University College, Oslo, Norway.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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© 2018 by The National Association of Neonatal Nurses