Breathing Booster

Most of the 13.1 million under-5 children hospitalized for respiratory illnesses annually live in low-income or middle-income countries (LMIC)—where under-resourced hospitals lack the equipment and expertise to provide mechanical ventilation.
And yet, in many cases continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation could help, as a study by Columbia University's Patrick Wilson and colleagues in 2 small hospitals in Ghana demonstrates. They compared giving CPAP (with oxygen) to standard oxygen therapy with nasal prongs, or a face mask, to keep the peripheral blood oxygen saturation above 92% and found that younger children benefit.

They also found that nurses in small hospitals can provide a CPAP service with minimal supervision, suggesting that CPAP machines—along with training, mentoring, and supervisory support—should be made available at all hospitals.

Source: The Lancet Global Health

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