Continuous positive airways pressure (cpap) is a method of assisted respiration that consists of the application of continuous positive pressure to a spontaneously breathing patient’s airways throughout the entire respiratory cycle. The first use of a cpap was in the 1930s (poulton ep, oxon dm, lancet 228:981–983, 1936; bullowa jgh, the management of the pneumonias. Oxford university press, new york, 1937; barach al, martin j, eckman m, proc am soc clin invest 16:664–680, 1937), but its first notable application in the neonatal field was in 1971 when cpap was used in the treatment of rds (respiratory distress syndrome) in spontaneously breathing newborns undergoing tracheal intubation (gregory ga, kittermann ja, phibbs rh et al. N engl j med 284:1333–1340, 1971). Nowadays, nasal cpap (n-cpap) is considered a valid approach in the management of respiratory failure of the preterm infant from birth reducing occurrence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (bpd) and death, without increasing risk of neurological damage.keywordscontinuous positive airway pressurerespiratory distress syndromefunctional residual capacitynasal continuous positive airway pressuremeconium aspiration syndromethese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.