Update on neonatal resuscitation

  • A Y Schure Harvard Medical School
Keywords: neonatal resuscitation


In these times of highly subspecialised medicine, many anaesthesiologists in the US think of neonatal resuscitation as the sole responsibility of neonatologists and paediatricians. But does this role assignment really release anaesthesiologists from the obligation to know how to perform an effective resuscitation of a newborn in the delivery room? The majority of babies are still born in small hospitals with limited staff and resources. A paediatrician or neonatologist might not always be available. A recent survey in the US, conducted among third year paediatric residents, showed a surprising deficiency in neonatal intubation skills.1 Around 10% of all newborns require some assistance after birth, and 1% will need full resuscitation. For preterm or low birth weight infants, this percentage increases dramatically. Unfortunately, only 60% of resuscitations are predictable antepartum, and often a timely maternal transfer to a tertiary centre is not possible.2

Author Biography

A Y Schure, Harvard Medical School
MD, DEAA Assistant Professor in Cardiac Anesthesia & Clinical Instructor Harvard Medical School Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine Children’s Hospital Boston, Massachusetts
Resuscitation Update