KGH Introduces New "Bubble CPAP" Technology - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

KGH Introduces New "Bubble CPAP" Technology

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick General Hospital says its employees are now offering the first "Bubble CPAP" service in the Tri-Cities. 

The hospital says doctors have now successfully treated the hospital's first newborn with continuous positive airway pressure (Bubble CPAP) in its Special Care Nursery.

Doctors say the infant, born two weeks early, showed immediate signs of respiratory distress. The new technology however, opened the little girl's airway, ultimately preventing the need for respirator support and associated complications.

KGH says Bubble CPAP, most commonly found in neonatal intensive care units, is a procedure used to help promote breathing in premature newborns by using bubbles. Doctors say the gentle positive pressure provided by the bubbles, mixed with humidified air and oxygen, can decrease a newborn's effort to breathe. They say it is also a much safer device for helping newborns breath than a mechanical respirator, and can also aid a newborn's lung development.

Shirley McIntosh, RN and Clinical Systems Perinatal Education Coordinator at KGH assisted on the procedure, which involved the baby's father as the mother was unavailable.

"The baby was born grunting, clearly struggling to breathe so we did exactly what we've trained and practiced for and she became our first Bubble CPAP," McIntosh said. "She immediately settled down into nice deep breaths in the arms of her father. She was off the CPAP within three hours without further respiratory distress."

Pictured here: The infant with two KGH nurses, Dawn Workman, RN (left) and Kaylin Dittmer (right).