• Evaluation and treatment of hypotension in the preterm infant.

      Dempsey, E M; Barrington, K J; Department of Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      A large proportion of very preterm infants receive treatment for hypotension. The definition of hypotension is unclear, and, currently, there is no evidence that treating it improves outcomes or, indeed, which treatment to choose among the available alternatives. Assessment of circulatory adequacy of the preterm infant requires a careful clinical assessment and may also require ancillary investigations. The most commonly used interventions, fluid boluses and dopamine, are problematic: fluid boluses are statistically associated with worse clinical outcomes and may not even increase blood pressure, whereas dopamine increases blood pressure mostly by causing vasoconstriction and may decrease perfusion. For neither intervention is there any reliable data showing clinical benefit. Prospective trials of intervention for hypotension and circulatory compromise are urgently required.
    • Permissive hypotension in the extremely low birthweight infant with signs of good perfusion.

      Dempsey, E M; Al Hazzani, F; Barrington, K J; Neonatology, Cork University Maternity Hospital, Cork, Ireland. (2012-01-31)
      INTRODUCTION: Many practitioners routinely treat infants whose mean arterial blood pressure in mm Hg is less than their gestational age in weeks (GA). OBJECTIVE: To assess the effectiveness of utilising a combined approach of clinical signs, metabolic acidosis and absolute blood pressure (BP) values when deciding to treat hypotension in the extremely low birthweight (ELBW) infant. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of all live born ELBW infants admitted to our neonatal intensive care unit over a 4-year period. Patients were grouped as either normotensive (BP never less than GA), hypotensive and not treated (BP