All babies require immediate assessment at birth and to be dried and covered and kept warm, preferably by skin-to-skin contact with the mother. In the vast majority of cases, these simple interventions suffice. Around 10% of babies require assistance to start breathing and 1% require more extensive resuscitation - this figure may be higher in areas where prolonged labour or late presentation are common. Situations where babies commonly require active resuscitation include; fetal distress during labour, prematurity, abnormal presentation, difficult or traumatic delivery, general anaesthesia or recent opioid analgesia, maternal drug abuse, especially alcohol, small for gestational age babies and prolonged rupture or membranes where infection is suspected.
However, it is not always possible to predict which babies will require assistance, so it is essential that anyone who delivers a baby should be able to perform resuscitation and that the facilities for newborn resuscitation are available at every delivery.
Newborn resuscitation is usually the responsibility of the midwives, although in some units there may be dedicated pediatricians available for complex cases. The prime responsibility of the anesthetist during a caesarean section is the care of the mother, but the knowledge and skills of the anaesthetist may be invaluable in resuscitation of the newborn. The anesthetist should therefore train with the midwives on a regular basis to develop their resuscitation skills. Therefore, in this study session you will learn about the basics of neonatal resuscitation. Overall, at the end of the this lesson the you are expected to; identify and prepare drugs and equipments, describe physiologic principles, and perform neonatal resuscitation according to neonate's health status.