Premature babies treated with caffeine have better lung function in mid-childhood
Premature babies treated with caffeine have better lung function in mid-childhood than those not treated with caffeine, according to a randomized controlled trial published in the American Thoracic Society’s American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Previous studies have shown that caffeine, which belongs to a group of drugs, reduces apnea of pre-maturity, a condition in which the baby stops breathing for many seconds, according to Dr. Lex Doyle, professor of neonatal pediatrics at the Royal Women’s Hospital in Melbourne.
Dr. Doyle says caffeine, one of the most widely used drugs in neonatal intensive care, shortens the time premature infants require help breathing after birth. It also reduces the chances that the newborn will develop lung injury or abnormal lung development which can lead to higher rates of breathing problems later in life.