Author(s): Ewer AK, James ME, Tobin JM
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Abstract AIM: To examine the effect of body position on clinically significant gastro-oesophageal reflux (GOR) in preterm infants. METHODS: Eighteen preterm infants with clinically significant GOR were studied prospectively using 24 hour lower oesophageal pH monitoring. Infants were nursed in three positions (prone, left, and right lateral) for 8 hours in each position, with the order randomly assigned. Data were analysed using analysis of covariance. RESULTS: The median (range) reflux index (RI) for the group was 13.8\% (5.8-40. 4). There was no significant difference in the mean time spent in each position. RI (mean \% (SEM)) was significantly less in prone (6. 3 (1.7)) and left lateral positions (11.0 (2.2)), when compared with the right lateral position (29.4 (3.2)); p<0.001. The mean (SEM) longest episodes (mins) of GOR were reduced by prone and left positions (8.6 (2.2) and 10.0 (2.4), respectively) compared with the right position (26.0 (3.9)); p<0.001. The mean (SE) number of episodes was reduced by prone (15.4 (2.8)) and left (24.6 (3.5)) positions when compared with right (41.6 (4.6)) (p<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Prone and left lateral positions significantly reduce the severity of GOR, by reducing the number of episodes and the duration of the longest episodes. Such positioning offers a useful adjunct to the treatment in hospital of preterm infants with gastro-oesophageal reflux.
This article was published in Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology