Apnea of prematurity (AOP) is a developmental disorder that affects the premature newborns frequently. One of the new non-drug methods for controlling apnea attacks is olfactory stimulation. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of olfactory stimulation by vanilla on the rate of apnea attacks in neonates with AOP.
Materials and Methods: This study is a single-blind randomized clinical trial study. The study samples included a total of 40 premature neonates with AOP who were admitted to the neonatal Intensive care unit (NICU) of Shahid Sadoughi hospital in Yazd, Iran, in 2016 and were assigned randomly in experimental (n=20), and control (n=20) groups. The experimental group was exposed to cotton impregnated with 2ml of vanillin extractfor 24 hours. The number of apnea attacks, heart rate, and arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) level were measured before, during and after intervention for three consecutive days. Data analysis was performed using statistical analysis in SPSS version 22.0 software.
Results: The results showed that there was no significant difference between the two groups in terms of mean number of apnea attacks (p>0.05). However, there was a significant difference between in the experimental group on the first day (2.84 ± 1.25), and second day (1.63 ± 1.01) in terms of the mean number of attacks. Also, there was a significant difference between the mean heart rate and SaO2 level in both the experimental and control groups (p<0.05).
Conclusion: At current study, olfactory stimulation by vanilla was not effective on reducing the number of apnea attacks in neonates with AOP.