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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


SCAVACINI, Ana Sílvia; MIYOSHI, Milton Harumi; KOPELMAN, Benjamin Israel  and  PERES, Clóvis de Araújo. Chest expansion for assessing tidal volume in premature newborn infants on ventilators. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2007, vol.83, n.4, pp.329-334. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether clinical observation of chest expansion predicts tidal volume in neonates on mechanical ventilation and whether observer experience interferes with results. METHODS: An observational study that enrolled less experienced physicians in the first year of pediatric residency, moderately experienced (second year pediatric residency, first year of neonatology or pediatric intensive care specialization) or who were already experienced (second year neonatology specialization, graduate students or primary physician supervisors with minimum experience of 4 years in neonatology). These professionals observed the chest expansion of newborn infants on mechanical ventilation and estimated the tidal volume being supplied to the babies. True tidal volume given was calculated, indexed by the patient's current weight, and considered adequate between 4 and 6 mL/kg, insufficient below 4 mL/kg and excessive over 6 mL/kg. Results were analyzed using chi-square test. RESULTS: One hundred and eleven assessments were carried out with 21 newborn infants and the estimates given were in agreement with measured volume in 23.1, 41.3 and 65.7% for less, moderately and experienced physicians, respectively. These results are evidence that the three groups are not statistically equal (p = 0.013) and that the group of fully-experienced physicians have a better level of agreement than those with little or moderate experience (p = 0.007). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical analysis of chest expansion by physicians with less or moderate experience exhibit a low level of agreement with the tidal volume given to newborn infants on mechanical ventilation. Although increased experience did result in higher levels of agreement, chest expansion must still be interpreted with caution.

Keywords : Premature neonates; mechanical ventilation; tidal volume; chest expansion; lung injury; volutrauma; bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

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