EPN 2022

Neil R M Buist

Neil R M Buist, Speaker at Neonatal Conferences
Oregon Health & Science University, United States
Title : Quantitation of Oral-Motor Function during feeding of Neonates


Background: Feeding problems in small infants are extremely common; they are usually assessed by trained clinical observers. We describe a small device that captures continuous sucking pressures that can be used to provide information about a number of oral physiologic parameters during sucking. There is nothing conceptually new about our system, but we have used it to develop an automatic, computerized data processing and analytical programme [Lang].. We have used this device to examine normal & high-risk neonates during regular feeding to develop some normal parameters.

Methods: A 12cm pressure chamber is fitted with a pressure monitor that feeds continuous data to a computer and a nipple; milk or feed is held in a regular feeding bottle. Infants can be held by caregivers during testing.

What will audience learn from your presentation?

  1. They should learn about sucking characteristics in Neonates as recorded in real time by continuous electronic capture. Such data is then used for subsequent clinical and statistical analyses.
  2. Normal values for a number of sucking parameters, such as periodicity, frequency, consistency strength, maturational patterns will be shown.
  3. The potential value of such studies in neonatal care will be discussed.
  4. Detection of oral-motor dysfunction in early infancy could lead to earlier and more directed therapy


Professor Buist earned his medical degrees Scotland with later training in Biochemical Genetics in Denver Colorado. For 35 years he ran the largest Metabolic Clinic in the US along with a lab involved in multiple clinical and research projects that characterized at least 10 new genetic disorders. He was intimately involved in the start of Newborn Screening in a program well known for innovation; being the first to introduce many of the tests currently used. He developed radically new nutritional products for the treatment of inborn errors of metabolism. He is well known internationally and has published >150 articles in research journals.