By tolerating higher pCO2 levels in the first few weeks of life for preterm infants, there is a reduction in the time on mechanical ventilation and its associated volutrauma and barotrauma. The long terms effects are still unknown.
Widely accepted protocols are in place, accepting pH down to 7.22 in the first 5 days of life, and 7.20 thereafter.
Reference: Sweet, D. G., Carnielli, V., Greisen, G., Hallman, M., Ozek, E., Plavka, R., … & Halliday, H. L. (2013). European consensus guidelines on the management of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants-2013 update.Neonatology, 103(4), 353-368.
Previously published: 28/10/14