AEL 142 in Tift County, Georgia carried out its first Bubble CPAP flight on August 21— a first for AEL and the entire state of Georgia! The Bubble CPAP flight, which included Flight Nurse Kelly Watson, Flight Paramedic David Nunez and Pilot Jeremy Shoemake, was given approval to use the new equipment one day earlier than anticipated for a child. Bubble CPAP is a non-invasive CPAP, utilizing a RAM cannula (a new nasal interface), water and oxygen. The therapy provides an alternative to prevent intubation of young patients and offers a higher level of care to pediatric intensive care units. Currently, Bubble CPAP is approved for patients under 33 pounds. AEL 142 is one of four bases in Georgia testing the new Bubble CPAP for the company.
CPAP has multiple physiologic advantages. In spontaneously breathing premature infants, it eases respiratory efforts by stenting the airway and the diaphragm. It maintains alveoli inflated, increases the functional residual capacity of the lung, and optimally matches ventilation with perfusion. Compared with mechanical ventilation and tracheal intubation, CPAP minimizes volutrauma (lung overdistention) and subsequent biotrauma. CPAP induces a favorable strain that stimulates lung growth when administered to animals over a prolonged time.