Researchers have released some preliminary data on research they are doing for premature infants with IV caffeine therapy. They have found that using caffeine in the IVs of preemies while in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) has reduced the rates of many breathing machines needed with infants who are born early as well as certain complications. These include:
- apnea of prematurity
- reduced the need for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
- mechanical ventilation
- reduced likelihood of bronchopulmonary dysplasia
While the best bet is still to prevent premature birth, the use of stimulants can be a break through in treating the premature baby.
Source Barbara Schmidt, et al "Caffeine Therapy for Apnea of Prematurity," New England Journal of Medicine 2006; 354:2112-2121.