Background: In low-income countries and those with a high prevalence of HIV, respiratory failure is a common cause of death in children. However, the role of non-invasive ventilation with bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) in these patients is not well established. Methods: A prospective observational study of bCPAP was undertaken between July and September 2012 in 77 Malawian children aged 1 week to 14 years with progressive acute respiratory failure despite oxygen and antimicrobial therapy. Results: Forty-one (53%) patients survived following bCPAP treatment, and an HIV-uninfected single-organ disease subgroup demonstrated bCPAP success in 14 of 17 (82%). Compared with children aged ≥60 months, infants of 0–2 months had a 93% lower odds of bCPAP failure (odds ratio 0.07, 95% confidence interval 0.004–1.02, P = 0.05). Following commencement of bCPAP, respiratory physiology improved, the average respiratory rate decreased from 61 to 49 breaths/minute (P = 0.0006), and mean oxygen saturation increased from 92.1% to 96.1% (P = 0.02). Conclusions: bCPAP was well accepted by caregivers and patients and can be feasibly implemented into a tertiary African hospital with high-risk patients and limited resources.
- Bubble continuous airway pressure (bCPAP)
- Respiratory disorders
- Respiratory failure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health