The effects of nonnutritive sucking on transcutaneous oxygen tension, heart rate, and respiratory rate were studied sequentially in 14 sleeping preterm infants breathing room air. Transcutaneous oxygen tension increased during nonnutritive sucking in infants between 32 and 35 weeks postconceptional age, but not in those between 36 and 39 weeks. This response was not associated with a change in respiratory rate or sleep state, although heart rate tended to increase. These data offer further support for the beneficial effects of nonnutritive sucking in preterm infants.
- Accepted April 13, 1984.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics