Feasibility and acceptability of bubble continuous positive airway pressure oxygen therapy for the treatment of childhood severe pneumonia and hypoxemia in Bangladeshi children

Mohammod Jobayer Chisti*, Trevor Duke, Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman, Tahmeed Ahmed, Shams E Arifeen, John D Clemens, Md F Uddin, Abu SMMH Rahman, Md m Rahman, Tapash K Sarker, Nazim S M Uddin, K M Shahunja, Abu SMSB Shahid, A S G Faruque, Supriya Sarkar, Md Jahurul Islam, Muhammad Shariful Islam, Md. Farhad Kabir, Kathrin M Cresswell, John NorrieAziz Sheikh, Harry Campbell, Harish Nair, Steve Cunningham

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background Effective management of hypoxemia is key to reducing pneumonia deaths in children. In an intensive care setting within a tertiary hospital in Bangladesh, bubble continuous positive airway pressure (bCPAP) oxygen therapy was beneficial in reducing deaths in this population. To inform a future trial, we investigated the feasibility of introducing bCPAP in this population in non-tertiary/district hospitals in Bangladesh. Methods We conducted a qualitative assessment using a descriptive phenomenological approach to understand the structural and functional capacity of the non-tertiary hospitals (Institute of Child and Mother Health and Kushtia General Hospital) for the clinical use of bCPAP. We conducted interviews and focus group discussions (23 nurses, seven physicians, 14 parents). We retrospectively (12 months) and prospectively (three months) measured the prevalence of severe pneumonia and hypoxemia in children attending the two study sites. For the feasibility phase, we enrolled 20 patients with severe pneumonia (age two to 24 months) to receive bCPAP, putting in place safeguards to identify risk. Results Retrospectively, while 747 of 3012 (24.8%) children had a diagnosis of severe pneumonia, no pulse oxygen saturation information was available. Of 3008 children prospectively assessed with pulse oximetry when attending the two sites, 81 (3.7%) had severe pneumonia and hypoxaemia. The main structural challenges to implementation were the inadequate number of pulse oximeters, lack of power generator backup, high patient load with an inadequate number of hospital staff, and inadequate and non-functioning oxygen flow meters. Functional challenges were the rapid turnover of trained clinicians in the hospitals, limited post-admission routine care for in-patients by hospital clinicians due to their extreme workload (particularly after official hours). The study implemented a minimum of four hourly clinical reviews and provided oxygen concentrators (with backup oxygen cylinders), and automatic power generator backup. Twenty children with a mean age of 6.7 (standard deviation (SD) = 5.0)) months with severe pneumonia and hypoxemia (median (md) SpO2 = 87% in room air, interquartile range (IQR) = 85-88)) with cough (100%) and severe respiratory difficulties (100%) received bCPAP oxygen therapy for a median of 16 hours (IQR = 6-16). There were no treatment failures or deaths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04040
JournalJournal of Global Health
Publication statusPublished - 26 May 2023


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