In April, I was privileged to have the opportunity to travel to Pennsylvania, in the United states, where Heather Maeding and the NICU staff at Saint Luc's Hospital trained me to use bubble CPAP. Last week, that training was put to good use, when Wooson came to our gates with breathing problems that were related to his prematurity.
The moment Woodson was placed on CPAP, the battle to breathe was over. The system supported his airway and his lungs with a blend of pressurized air and oxygen, delivered through a nasal cannula.
Day by day, Woodson's lungs matured. He required less oxygen, and less pressure to support his breathing and he was getting bigger and stronger.
'He's so contented,' one nanny observed, 'and he's really filling out.' Over the years, GLA has cared for dozens of premature infants, and our senior Haitian staff are accustomed to the range of struggles these tiny, fragile babies face. Usually, a baby like Woodson, born two months prematurely, small for his age and without medical support for over a week, would require oxygen and an IV. They would have to work hard to breath and they would not tolerate feeds very well. They may not even survive.
Woodson though, got CPAP. It allowed him to rest. The energy he would have had to use to breathe was used instead to digest his milk and to grow. He gained 9 ounces in his first week with us, bringing his weight from 2 lb 9 oz to 3 lb 2 oz.
This morning, Woodson came off of his CPAP. We are pleased to have been able to give him just the support he needed, when he needed it.
The nurses and nannies at GLA are in absolute agreement about one thing - this 'new apparatus' is a wonderful thing.
Seeing is believing.