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The benefits of using NAVA on all preterm infants

Dr. Juyoung Lee, pediatrician in the Division of Neonatology at the Inha University College of Medicine in the Republic of Korea, routinely use Getinge’s innovation Neurally Adjusted Ventilatory Assist (NAVA) with diaphragm monitoring (Edi) on all preterm infants born in her unit.

“We are applying NAVA from the first days of life, and the results are amazing. I don’t observe any severe cases of the chronic lung disease bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), and some infants born in the 23d week with a weight of 500 grams can be weaned off invasive ventilation already after two weeks. Then we continue with non-invasive NAVA for as long as it is needed,” Dr. Lee explains.

The NAVA mode is available for several of Getinge’s Servo ventilator models. By capturing the electrical signal that activates the diaphragm (Edi) with an Edi catheter, the solution uses the patient’s own natural respiratory drive to control the ventilator.

Dr. Lee, who has focused her entire medical career on neonatal care, encountered NAVA over a decade ago.

“Already in the early days, I observed how the lack of synchrony between the infants’ own breath and traditional mechanical ventilation impaired their development. I believe that NAVA is an ideal mode for synchronizing. With clear understanding of the respiratory state, it gives us decision support that can’t be obtained with other modes of ventilation.”

When Dr. Lee moved to her current intensive care unit (ICU) in 2015, she started spreading the good word by combining a demonstration module with lectures educating colleagues on how to start and use NAVA. Parallel to working with her tiny patients, she is also conducting extensive research.

“Watching our babies develop, enjoying their smiles and following their progress towards good outcomes, gives me energy to convince as many colleagues and care providers as possible that NAVA is the right approach. Currently, our center has the lowest prevalence of BPD in the country. This demonstrates that NAVA works well also with very tiny babies,” she concludes.

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