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Does Neurophysiological Facilitation (NPF) influence respiratory function in a preterm infant with respiratory distress? A Case Report
  • Manasa Kolibylu Raghupathy,
  • Leslie Edward S. Lewis,
  • Shubha G
Manasa Kolibylu Raghupathy
Manipal Academy of Higher Education

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Leslie Edward S. Lewis
Kasturba Medical College Manipal
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Shubha G
Manipal Academy of Higher Education
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Background: Infants born between 28 to 32 weeks of gestation require assisted ventilation or oxygen support due to respiratory distress syndrome. Neurophysiological facilitation (NPF) is the use of selective external proprioceptive and tactile stimuli. It further normalizes the rate & depth of breathing by influencing the length-tension relationship of muscles. NPF has shown improvement in ventilation capacity & oxygen saturation level among adult ventilated patients. Biomechanical understanding of the preterm infant’s ribcage musculature was a prerequisite for administering the NPF technique in this case report. Case Presentation: We report a case of 29-week preterm infant with respiratory distress syndrome who received NPF techniques. Outcome measure: modified Downes Score, Silverman Anderson Score, and vitals such as oxygen saturation and respiratory rate. It was found that administration of NPF intervention to the infant lead to the reduction of chest retractions, an increase in the oxygen saturation level, and a faster trend of early weaning off the ventilator. The infant was completely off from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) and was on room air by day 14 of life. Conclusion: Techniques like NPF might promote better respiratory function in a preterm infant with respiratory distress.