Here is some info about Nitric. Sophia did also receive artificial surfactant. SHE IS A MIRACLE BABY!!!!!! Not that Sabrina is not, she is too. THEY BOTH ARE! Sophia's condition was just worse. The fact that they struggled as they did and are as well as they is so amazing!!!! I think I was in survival mode and now it is finally hitting me. WE ARE SO BLESSED WITH TWO HEALTHY, SPECIAL Little Princesses!!!
The lungs of very premature infants are underdeveloped, fragile and too weak to breathe independently. Mechanical ventilation with oxygen keeps these infants alive but often results in chronic lung disease, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), with severe inflammation and retarded development of the lungs.
BPD is the most common long-term lung disease in premature infants in the United States, affecting about 15,000 babies each year. About half of the infants born between 24 and 30 weeks and weighing less than 2 pounds develop BPD. The condition is life-threatening, and those who survive can suffer long-term disabilities including asthma, mental retardation and cerebral palsy.
The controlled, randomized clinical trial of nitric oxide was headed by Roberta Ballard, MD, UCSF professor emeritus of neonatology who coordinated the trial while serving as chief of the division of neonatology at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The trial included 582 very premature infants who were enrolled between 2000 and 2005 in the study at 7 to 21 days old at 21 hospitals around the country.
Laboratory studies were performed in 83 of these infants to examine whether inhaled nitric oxide had a negative effect on pulmonary surfactant, a lipid-protein mixture that coats the lungs and greatly reduces surface tension.
Surfactant essentially allows the lungs to inflate easily after exhalation, eliminating the work of breathing. Very premature infants produce insufficient amounts of surfactant, so any therapy that inhibited the work of surfactant would be harmful.
In the study, half the infants were treated with nitric oxide and half received a placebo. Fluid from their lungs was then collected and examined for surfactant levels and properties. Findings showed that "there were no significant differences" between the two groups in surfactant amount and that inhaled nitric oxide may have a positive effect on surfactant function.
"This is very good news in terms of the safety profile for this promising new therapy," Ballard said. Prevention of BPD in very premature infants has included the use of vitamin A therapy, which has a small but positive effect, and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid, Ballard said.