Premature infants often require breathing support with a respirator or ventilator. Although ventilator treatment for premature babies is life-saving, infants requiring prolonged ventilator support may develop lung damage, called chronic lung disease (CLD). The exact causes of CLD are not known. However, many believe that ventilator use, though necessary, may cause or worsen CLD. High frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFOV) uses a type of ventilatior which delivers very small, very rapid breaths, much faster than a regular venilator. Ventilation with a regular ventilator is also called """"""""tidal ventilation"""""""" while breathing with HFOV is called """"""""non-tidal ventilation"""""""". Regular ventilators generally use breathing rates between 10 and 60 breaths per minutes; HFOV uses rates of 600-900 breaths per minute. The HFOV device is not new and is often used with good success in very sick babies who are not responding well to the regular venilator. Some evidence from animal studies and studies in human babies suggest that CLD may be less severe or even prevented if the HFOV ventilator is used early, before the baby develops CLD. This research study is to determine if early use of HFOV can prevent or lessen the severity of CLD in premature very low birth weight babies.

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