Inflammation caused by lung overdistension (volutrauma) is thought to be important in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Preterm infants with variable lung compliance are particularly at risk. Volume-targeted neonatal ventilators have been developed as alternatives to traditional pressure-limited ventilators. They deliver consistent, appropriate tidal volumes with the aim of reducing lung damage. It is suggested that these would provide an effective, safer means of ventilating the newborn infant.