—To investigate the potential development of oral motor problems following prolonged orotracheal intubation in low-birth-weight infants.
—Fifty-one low-birth-weight infants and 10 full-term infants divided into three groups—group 1 with 15 low-birth-weight infants (≤1250 g) who had been intubated for more than 1 week; group 2 with 36 low-birth-weight infants who had been intubated for 1 week or less; and group 3 with 10 full-term control infants.
Measurements and Results.
—Oral motor assessments of nutritive sucking were compared at corrected ages of term and 3 months. The results showed that low-birth-weight infants with prolonged intubation had significantly poorer sucking abilities at both term and 3 months. The number of days of oxygen use and the postnatal age (weeks) at which nipple feeding was begun were the most powerful predictors of sucking ability at term (P<.001), whereas the number of days of orotracheal intubation and gestational age at birth were the most powerful predictors of sucking ability at 3 months (P<.001).(AJDC. 1993;147:858-862)