n South African Journal of Child Health - Apnoea of prematurity - discontinuation of methylxanthines in a resource-limited setting : research
|Article Title||Apnoea of prematurity - discontinuation of methylxanthines in a resource-limited setting : research|
|© Publisher:||Health and Medical Publishing Group (HMPG)|
|Journal||South African Journal of Child Health|
|Affiliations||1 Groote Schuur Hospital, 2 Groote Schuur Hospital, 3 University of Cape Town, 4 University of Cape Town, 5 University of Cape Town and 6 Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital|
|Publication Date||Nov 2013|
|Pages||146 - 147|
Background. Methylxanthines such as caffeine have been proven to reduce apnoea of prematurity and are often discontinued at 35 weeks' corrected gestational age (GA).
Objective. To ascertain whether a caffeine protocol based on international guidelines is applicable in our setting, where GA is often uncertain.
Methods. A prospective folder review was undertaken of all premature infants discharged home over a 2-month period.
Results. Fifty-five babies were included. All babies born at less than 35 weeks' GA were correctly started on caffeine as per protocol. GA was assigned in 85.5% of cases by Ballard scoring and in 14.5% from antenatal ultrasound findings. Caffeine was discontinued before 35 weeks in 54.5%.
Discussion. The main reason for discontinuing caffeine early was the baby's ability to feed satisfactorily, a demonstration of physiological maturity. As feeding behaviours mature significantly between 33 and 36 weeks, the ability to feed may be a good indication that caffeine therapy can be stopped.
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