Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida - Neonatalogy
New Ventilator Better for Baby
State-of-the-art technology in the intensive care unit at the Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is helping babies breathe better. Known as neurally adjusted ventilatory assist, or NAVA, the machine allows patients to breathe more naturally based on their own respiratory patterns.
"NAVA works more synchronously with the babies," explains Kultar Singh, M.D., a neonatologist. "The technology senses contraction of the diaphragm, assesses its strength and provides the appropriate amount of breathing machine support. NAVA offers comfort by improving ventilator synchrony with the baby's breathing efforts."
While NAVA can be used for patients of all ages, it is especially helpful for babies because they breathe more rapidly than adults approximately 40-60 breathes per minute. Golisano Children's Hospital of Southwest Florida is one of the few hospitals in the nation to use NAVA with babies, and is the only site between Tampa and Miami to use the technology.
"In our neonatal unit, we are using NAVA on more babies, even babies who are only 500 or 600 grams," Dr. Singh says. "The technology makes physiological sense, and short-term studies show that babies tolerate it better and may wean off the ventilator faster, which could mean potentially shorter hospital stays."
Dr. Singh adds that long-term data and results remain to be seen, but NAVA has helped provide a less invasive mode for ventilation called non-invasive ventilation.
"Sometimes, by using non-invasive NAVA, we can avoid intubation," Dr. Singh says. "We always do what's best for the baby, and using technology that works with the baby's own breathing effort, is best for the baby."
New Ventilator for NICU
Kultar Singh, M.D.
Pediatrix Medical Group of Southwest Florida
9981 S. HealthPark Drive, Suite 281
Fort Myers, FL 33908