Toronto: A daily dose of caffeine therapy could be safe for premature babies and can boost development of their brains as well as lung functions, according to researchers including one of Indian origin. The study showed that starting caffeine therapy to babies born under 29 weeks, kept in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs), within two days after birth shortened the amount of time babies needed to use ventilators. It also reduced the risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) — a form of chronic lung disease caused by damage to the lungs from use of a ventilator.
“Caffeine is the most commonly used drug in the NICU after antibiotics,” said Abhay Lodha, Associate Professor in the University of Calgary in Canada. “Caffeine may also improve better lung stretch and expansion, cardiac output and blood pressure in premature infants, which improves oxygen supply throughout the body and brain, reducing the duration of mechanical ventilation and the risk of chronic lung disease and injury on the developing brain,” Lodha added. (IANS)