Early Use of Caffeine In Premature Infants

Dr. Abhay Lodha, MBBS, MD, DM, MSC Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary, Staff Neonatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, Section of Neonatology, Alberta Health Services, Chairman, CME Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, CanadaMedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Abhay Lodha, MBBS, MD, DM, MSC
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics and Community Health Sciences, University of Calgary,
Staff Neonatologist and Clinical Epidemiologist, Section of Neonatology, Alberta Health Services, Chairman, CME
Foothills Medical Centre, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Lodha: Apneic episodes (cessation of breathing) occur in the premature infants. Caffeine is the most commonly used medication for apnea of prematurity. Normally caffeine started on day 3 of life for apnea. However, there is no strong evidence that starting caffeine on day 1 or 2 life has some extra advantages in premature infants. Our study has a large number of premature infants. Our study determined the association of early initiation of caffeine therapy in very preterm neonates and neonatal outcomes.

The main finding of our study was that early use of caffeine was associated with a reduction in the rate of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia and patent ductus arteriosus. We did not find any adverse impact on any other outcomes.

Medical Research
: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Lodha: Early use of caffeine (within the first 2 days after birth) in premature infants has no harmful effects on neonatal outcomes. Early use of caffeine is associated with a reduction in the rate of mortality or bronchopulmonary dysplasia and patent ductus arteriosus.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Lodha: We recommend a randomised controlled trial study comparing the role of early versus late caffeine therapy in very preterm infants and also to determine the long-term outcome in very premature infants.

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