Sunday, July 19, 2009

Newborn resuscitation and the Internet

My only real concern about returning to midwifery practice and being a rural midwife is the fact I am a little out of date regarding neonatal resuscitation. I am very confident I can handle most obstetric and neonatal emergencies but resuscitation of the newborn has always been my one hang-ups. I attend resuscitation updates every year and theoretically know what I have to do, but I have never (and may that last!) had to resuscitate a really sick baby. This is a crucial skill when you work in a rural setting, with medical help miles away.

Resuscitation education
The problem I have found with resuscitation education updates is that they make things very complicated. I can never remember what they say - how many puffs of oxygen to a heart compression, when and where to start CPR etc. And I think this is why I also get my knickers in twist - I am too busy worrying about details like blood gasses when I should be focusing on the basics.

The other issue is that guidelines always seem to be changing. It is so important to provide evidence-based care but on the other hand, it can be really difficult to keep up with what is the latest evidence.

My challenge
So I have taken the rural midwives' challenge - to see if I can update myself on what are the latest newborn baby resuscitation guidelines just by using the Internet, focusing on videos and web sites such as YouTube.

Results of search
On the whole I didn't get on very well in my quest to find simple, up-to-date information about resuscitation of the newborn. The main problems were the currency of the information and credibility of the information and/or author.

I used the search terms "neonatal resuscitation" and "newborn resuscitation" and found no appropriate videos. The most visually appealing to me was a small diagram I found in an article written by Lindsay Milden, but the information was dated Summer 2006, so I do not know if it is the current guidelines.

Need for resuscitation video
I have concluded that there is a need for clear information about neonatal resuscitation - preferably a video - to be published on the Internet for use by midwives who do not have ready access to professional study days and/or updates.

So my challenge to midwifery educators - next time you demonstrate neonatal resuscitation, please make it into a video and post on YouTube or It doesn't have to be a real flash production, just make sure you identify your sources and the currency of the information.

Image: 'Louis learns his ABC's' digitalkatie

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