1Department of Pediatric Nursing, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, IR Iran
Background Results of several studies suggest that prone position is beneficial in improving the preterm infants’ cardio-respiratory status. Previous studies showed opposite results, and also there is not any available clear study about the effect of this position on cardio-respiratory rates of Nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (N-CPAP) treating premature infants. Objectives This study aimed at comparing supine and prone positions on cardio-respiratory rates of premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) who were treated using N-CPAP. Patients and Methods This was a cross over study which was performed in 2010 on 44 hospitalized 29-34 weeks gestation premature infants who were receiving N-CPAP in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Al-Zahra Hospital of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences. Infants were randomly assigned into two groups, and the first group was placed in prone at first and then in supine, and the position of second group was at first supine and then prone. Infants’ Heart Rate (HR) and Respiratory Rate (RR) were assessed three times in each position for 30 minutes. The data was recorded in a data-collection form, and demographic data was analyzed using t test, Chi square and Fisher exact test. Also, repeated measurement ANOVA and Tukey post-hoc tests were used. Results There was a significant difference in HR and RR of premature infants who were similar in gestational age and clinical condition and placed in two positions. Premature infants’ HR and RR became lower at prone position than supine in both groups. So it can be concluded that prone position could decrease infants HR and RR, but supine position might increase them (P < 0.05). Conclusion Our findings support prone positioning for premature infants. Therefore, it is advisable to NICU staff that if there is no obstacle for changing the infant’s position, prone position in infants with respiratory complications during receiving N-CPAP in NICU can be useful. Regarding the fact that prone position is a risk factor for sudden infant death syndrome , prone position should be only used when the newborn is being supervised carefully.