To investigate whether nasal high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (nHFOV) started immediately after extubation of mechanically ventilated very low birth weight infants reduces the partial pressure of carbon dioxide at 72 h after extubation in comparison with nasal continuous positive airway pressure. This randomised controlled single-centre trial aimed to include 68 preterm infants at high risk of extubation failure.
Implementation of the study protocol was feasible. However, from 2015 to 2017, only six patients could be recruited, leading to early termination of the trial. The slow recruitment was due to the introduction of new strategies to avoid endotracheal mechanical ventilation, which reduced the number of eligible infants. Moreover, the included infants failed their extubation more often than anticipated, thereby increasing the required sample size. Based on our single-centre experience, we provide information for study planning and discuss the specific requirements for future trial protocols on nHFOV. The extubation of high-risk infants into nHFOV could well be beneficial, but a multicentric approach is necessary to investigate this hypothesis.
Trial Registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02340299, on 16 January 2015.