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Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital Using Bubbles to Help Babies Breathe
Date:12/10/2007

Bubble CPAP system improves outcomes for premature babies

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Bubbles have entertained kids for generations. Now, they are helping improve the care of premature infants. Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital's (HMFW) neonatal intensive care unit recently implemented the use of the Bubble CPAP -- a breathing assistance system showing promising results in decreasing the incidence of chronic lung disease among premature infants. One of two hospitals in the Metroplex currently using Bubble CPAP, HMFW was the first to implement the system.

Babies born prematurely often have underdeveloped lungs. Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is a breathing system commonly used to deliver airflow and pressure to an infant's lungs via short prongs in the nose. This air pressure helps to keep the lungs open at the end of exhalation while allowing the baby to initiate his/her own breathing.

But a simple twist in this system--the addition of bubbles--is proving more effective in helping infants breathe on their own and decreasing the need to put some babies on mechanical ventilators.

How it Works

Bubble CPAP creates this pressure by placing the expiratory tube in a column of liquid. The flow of air into the liquid causes the solution to bubble. This bubbling creates vibrations that are transmitted to the baby's chest, helping the infant maintain better lung inflation and aiding in the proper movement of gases into and out of the lungs.

"It's a very simple approach," said Randy Grubbs, MD, a neonatologist on the medical staff at HFMW, "but I think it will ultimately become the best practice for NICUs nationwide when it comes to improving the lung development of premature babies."

Why HMFW Chose Bubble CPAP

Several types of CPAP can be used to aid babies in their breathing, but HMFW now exclusively uses the Bubble CPAP to give spontaneously breathing in
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SOURCE Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital
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