The mechanics of respiration in normal adults and those with cardiopulmonary disease have been studied extensively. Normal values are also available for newborns1-4 and children over age five.5 There are no data on infants up to age five. The reason for this gap lies not only in the uncooperativeness of the subject but also in the technical difficulties encountered when trying to adapt customary methods to this age group.
We are at present investigating the work of respiration in bronchiolitis, as compared with other illnesses causing respiratory distress in infancy. Because of the lack of normal data, this first report presents observations on the mechanics of respiration in 24 infants under the age of two years. The data are derived from simultaneous measurements of tidal volume and intraesophageal pressure changes.
The 24 infants studied were hospital normal, i.e., free of respiratory, cardiac, or debilitating disease and convalescing