The use of nasal CPAP at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital

  • C Jardine
  • DE Ballot


Background: Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) is well established as a treatment for hyaline membrane disease (HMD) and other respiratory diagnoses in neonates. NCPAP is an affordable intervention that reduces the number of neonatal admissions to the intensive care unit (ICU) for ventilation. At the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) we have been using NCPAP since April 2006.

Objectives: To review the use of early NCPAP in our hospital setting.

Methods: This was a retrospective, descriptive study of all neonates ≥750 g admitted to CMJAH between 1 January 2013 and 31 July 2014, who received NCPAP within 72 hours of birth. The characteristics and the survival of all infants who received NCPAP were described using univariate analysis.

Results: The NCPAP group (n=481) of neonates <1 500 g was significantly associated with surfactant use (p<0.0005), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (p<0.0005) and late sepsis (p<0.0005). The survival to day 7 and to discharge of infants treated with NCPAP was significantly decreased (p<0.0005). NCPAP alone (without ventilation) improved the survival to discharge (p=0.001). The survival was 95.4% in the ≥1 500 g infants, compared with 87.6% in the very low birth weight infants and 55.2% in the extremely low birth weight infants.

Conclusion: NCPAP is an effective intervention for HMD; it is both cost-effective and easy to use in a resource-limited setting, and reduces the morbidity and mortality associated with ICU admission.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032