This module is from the UC Denver Education Department
There are 5 case scenarios here:
1). Apnea during feeding of the newborn
2). A baby boy is born in a shelter on a chilly windy
night 1km from the emergency care center. When he
arrives he is approx 15 minutes old.
3). A 2,100 g baby was born by vaginal delivery at 34-week
gestation in a shelter. She is brought to the
emergency area with mild respiratory distress.
Four hours later, the baby has a severe apneic event.
4). At 9 AM a 17-year-old woman presents at the emergency
care center in a refugee camp. She is pregnant at 35
weeks gestation and relates that last night she felt a
gush of fluid from her vagina. She was alone, and in
the morning, as fluid was still leaking, she talked
with her mother who prompted her to come to the
emergency center. In addition, she felt occasional
painful uterine contractions. This is her first
pregnancy. Throughout her pregnancy she made only one
prenatal visit to the hospital which is 2 hours away
from the refugee camp. She has no information
regarding the results of any tests that were done that
day. She shows mild edema in both feet and blood
pressure 130/90 mmHg. Fetal movements and heart rate
are normal. Digital exam shows a slightly opened (1-2
5). You are sleeping in the middle of the night in your
tent near the emergency center in the refugee camp and
you are awakened by your assistant. He tells you that
a woman in advanced labor has arrived at the emergency
center. You jump out of your bed and run to the
center. The woman has just delivered a boy with the
assistance of a midwife. The neonate is not crying and
is gasping. His four extremities are in extension and
limp. Heart rate is 70 beats per minute. The entire
body appears cyanotic.
Section I- Delivery and immediate neonatal care
List the elements needed to successfully carry out neonatal resuscitation, including previous preparation, recognizable risk factors associated with the need for neonatal resuscitation, and the equipment necessary for neonatal resuscitation.
Identify the newborn who is making a normal transition immediately after birth.
Recognize the newborn who requires resuscitation.
Describe and apply effective neonatal resuscitation interventions.
Section II- Jaundice
Assess, classify, and define the treatment of neonatal jaundice.
Objectives of the station
Identify newborns making a successful early transition, which should be taken to his/her mother to be breast-fed and receive thermal protection, and the newborn that
requires any kind of resuscitation intervention.
Identify the risk factors associated with probable need for neonatal resuscitation.
Practice initial steps in resuscitation, included the demonstration of thermal protection measures.
Identify newborns requiring positive pressure ventilation.
Practice adequate positive pressure ventilation.
Describe and practice the steps to follow if positive pressure ventilation is ineffective.
Skill station (hands-on practice) in which students will practice decision-making,techniques and skills related to the station objectives, based on clinical cases
simulated with manikins.
2 practice areas allowing the division of participants into 2 groups of 6-8, maximum.
Scenario/clinical case(s) for each facilitator.
Material for each group:
- 1 table, stretcher or working area
- 1 infant manikin
- 1 aspiration bulb
- 1 neonatal bag-valve
- 1 neonatal mask
- 2 drapes, pads, sheets or towels
- Scissors or scalpel (to cut cord)
- Material to simulate cord ligature
Optional: 1 per each group of 6 to 8 participants or 1 per 2 groups:
- Intubation head: 1 (one)
- Laryngoscope with straight blade number 0 and extra batteries
- Tracheal tube 3.0 or 3.5
- Suction catheter
Notes for the instructor
Discuss technical and basic information concerning each practical station before the hands-on activity; encourage student participation. For example, the different forms of
thermal protection, such as regulating the room temperature, skin-to-skin contact with the mother, covering the head with a cap and the various methods to warm the newborn with cloth (or plastic film for premature babies), can be discussed as part of healthy newborn care or as the first steps for those that require interventions.
Examples of cases should be provided for each step.
Specific discussions and demonstrations can be presented in the following sequence:
1. Ask students to describe the elements needed for reception and neonatal resuscitation interventions, as well as the risk factors indicating the potential need for
resuscitation (Box 1 and Table 1 of Module 7 see auxiliary material included).
2. Describe the characteristics of the newborn who does not require resuscitation. Discuss cord care, thermal protection, breast-feeding and continuous observation.
3. Discuss the characteristics of the newborn who requires initial interventions. Show the first steps. The students should return the demonstration and later practice in the
context of the case scenario(s).
4. Discuss the factors indicating the need for positive pressure ventilation (PPV). The instructor shows how to perform PPV and then students should practice with a manikin and self-inflating bag and mask before proceeding to the case(s).
5. Discuss the reasons why bag-mask ventilation can be ineffective. Show the steps to improve ventilation (mask seal, reposition head, suction mouth and nose, open mouth,
ventilate with higher pressures, alternative airway) and have students practice them.
6. Show a complete resuscitation sequence, from the preparation of the reception area and the equipment, to the positive pressure ventilation with bag-mask without
complications. Each student must then show a complete sequence of resuscitation, including bag-mask ventilation, in the context of the case scenario(s).
7. As part of the case scenarios, discuss situations in which the newborn may require a higher level of care. Discuss how to satisfy the immediate needs of the high-risk newborn. Show the steps of thermal protection and continuous respiratory support that may be necessary until transport is successfully completed.
Key teaching points
Three major questions should be asked about every newborn child to define the need for resuscitation:
Is the baby breathing or crying?
Is muscle tone appropriate?
If the baby is full term, shows good respiratory effort and muscle tone, he/she can be dried and placed over the mothers body for better thermal protection, and breastfeeding can be started under continued monitoring.
2) Resuscitation initial steps
The initial steps in the neonatal resuscitation sequence for the baby with identified risks (preterm, poor or no respiratory effort or poor muscle tone) are:
Thorough drying and thermal protection
Proper head positioning
Specific stimulation to breathe
3) Assessment to determine the need for further resuscitation interventions.
Respiration is the baby breathing well?
4) Indications for positive-pressure ventilation (PPV):
Heart rate under 100 bpm
5) Chest compressions
Chest compressions are initiated and added to PPV if the heart rate persists below 60 bpm after 30 seconds of PPV
Apnea during feeding of the newborn
A mother, whose delivery was assisted in the improvised emergency room and was feeding her baby, calls for help. She tells you that her baby suddenly turned blue and
stopped breathing, just as she finished feeding him. The baby is apneic, with a heart rate < 100 bpm.
1) Which signs indicate the need for resuscitation?
Heart rate < 100 bpm
2) Which signs are present in this baby?
The baby shows two signs that indicate the need of immediate resuscitation interventions:
2. Central cyanosis
3) Which intervention is indicated?
4) Which is the right sequence?
Quickly take the baby to an adequate resuscitation area, ask for help, try to warm the baby (with some radiant heater; if the baby is premature, wrap him in plastic film to prevent cold stress during resuscitation) and start resuscitation.
Position the baby adequately to keep the airway open (bearing in mind that his mother said he has just been fed).
Start oropharyngeal suction until help arrives.
Required suction equipment:
You suction the baby and take out a moderate amount of colostrum, and the baby starts gasping.
Heart rhythm is <100 bpm. You start bag-mask (positive-pressure) ventilation with room air. (If an oxygen source and oximetry are available, initiate positive pressure with room air and add oxygen as guided by pulse oximetry).
After 20 seconds, the baby starts breathing spontaneously, and heart rate increases to 120 bpm. The skin turns pink.
PPV is suspended and the baby remains pink and begins to cry.
This case scenario was provided by:
ACoRN, Acute Care of at-Risk Newborns. Vancouver, ACoRN Editorial Board, 2006
A baby boy is born in a shelter on a chilly winter night, 1 km from your emergency care center. He arrives at the center when he is approximately 15 minutes of age. You are
working alone. As the father passes you the baby wrapped in his coat, he tells you he was born 3 weeks early.
You place the baby on the examination table and remove the wet clothing. No meconium is noted while you are drying him.
The baby is breathing spontaneously, has a heart rate of > 130 bpm and is peripherally cyanosed. He appears sleepy.
1) Do you find in your assessment any indication of the need of resuscitation?
- Heart rate
The baby has acrocyanosis. You establish there is no evident sign of the need to start resuscitation and initiate physical examination.
The baby appears small for 37-week gestation. He is breathing easily with no signs of respiratory distress.
As you easily palpate the brachial and femoral pulses, you notice his limbs are cool to touch and he has acrocyanosis.
The heart rate is 120 bpm.
Though the baby is still sleepy, his tone is normal.
The axillary temperature is 35.5ΊC.
You wrap the baby΄s heel in a warm towel in preparation for a blood glucose test. You also note the baby has not fed yet. The blood glucose is within the normal range. You observe that the baby is eager to feed. You decide there are no contraindications to feeding the baby.
2) Which is the cause of the acrocyanosis?
Body temperature can be interpreted in view of environmental conditions, age and newborn size.
3) Which actions would you take?
Increment environmental temperature and wrap the child in a dry blanket or a plastic film. OR Place the child skin-to-skin with the mother and facilitate breast feeding. (Try to transport mother and baby together; maintain skin-to-skin contact during transport.)
A 2,100 g baby was born by vaginal delivery at 34-week gestation in a shelter. She is brought to the emergency area with mild respiratory distress.
Four hours later, the baby has a severe apneic event.
1) Do you find in her assessment any indication of the need for resuscitation interventions?
- Heart rate
The baby is severely apneic.
You perform the initial steps of the resuscitation sequence:
Call for help
Position the baby
Clear the airway (suction)
The baby keeps having apneic events.
You decide to start PPV (bag-mask). Another member of the team auscultates the chest to determine the adequacy of ventilation and heart rate.
Heart rate is 140 bpm, bag-and-mask ventilation results in good chest expansion and equal air entry. However, as soon as this support is withdrawn, the baby becomes apneic again.
2) What is the next step?
Intubation. The babys heart rate drops to 80 bpm as you attempt to visualize the vocal cords. The intubation attempt is aborted.
3) What should you do?
You resume bag-and-mask ventilation. After 30 seconds, heart rate is 140 bpm, but chest expansion is poor despite repositioning and suctioning. PPV is ineffective.
A second intubation attempt is successful. There is good chest expansion and breath sounds can be heard on both sides symmetrically.
The baby meets no criteria for further resuscitation. You continue ventilation via the endotracheal tube.
4) What care do you need to provide in transport?
Transport with mother if possible, maintaining thermal protection and ventilation.
At 9 AM a 17-year-old woman presents at the emergency care center in a refugee camp. She is pregnant at 35 weeks gestation and relates that last night she felt a gush
of fluid from her vagina. She was alone, and in the morning, as fluid was still leaking, she talked with her mother who prompted her to come to the emergency center.
In addition, she felt occasional painful uterine contractions. This is her first pregnancy.
Throughout her pregnancy she made only one prenatal visit to the hospital which is 2 hours away from the refugee camp. She has no information regarding the results of
any tests that were done that day.
She shows mild edema in both feet and blood pressure 130/90 mmHg. Fetal movements and heart rate are normal.
Digital exam shows a slightly opened (1-2 cm)cervix.
1) Which data are risk factors suggesting the likely need for neontal resuscitation or specialized neonatal care?
Maternal age less than 19 years.
Pre-labor rupture of membranes.
Edema and mild hypertension.
Lack of appropriate prenatal care.
Discuss other potential risk factors
2) What are the most appropriate steps in the management of this patient?
This should be considered a high risk pregnancy. The mother has signs of preeclampsia, including edema and mild hypertension. Thus, it is likely that she will need medical care.
Since active labor has not begun, the patient should be sent to the hospital if transportation is available. Both she and her family should be informed about the risks
involved if referral is not accepted.
If appropriate transportation is not available, prepare yourself for a potentially high risk delivery. Be certain that sterile delivery kits are readily available, including a neonatal sized resuscitation bag and an oxygen source. If possible, ask skilled personnel to be present when delivery begins.
Review the equipment required for neonatal assistance and resuscitation.
You are sleeping in the middle of the night in your tent near the emergency center in the refugee camp and you are awakened by your assistant. He tells you that a woman
in advanced labor has arrived at the emergency center. You jump out of your bed and run to the center.
The woman has just delivered a boy with the assistance of a midwife. The neonate is not crying and is gasping. His four extremities are in extension and limp. Heart rate is 70 beats per minute. The entire body appears cyanotic.
1) What is your management in this situation?
This neonate requires immediate resuscitation intervention.
Dry the baby with clean cloths and position him on the mothers abdomen with the head slightly extended.
Clear any secretions and/or maternal blood obstructing the airway (suction mouth, then nose).
Rub the back 2 or 3 times to stimulate breathing. Evaluate breathing. The infant is not breathing.
Securely clamp the cord and cut it with a sterile blade or scissors.
Identify the baby before removing him from his mothers side (footprints and mothers finger print, plus
bracelet if available).
Place the baby under a radiant heater if available or on warmed blankets. Do not use heating pads or hot water bottles to warm the neonate.
Provide positive pressure ventilation with mask and bag. Evaluate chest rise and improve ventilation if necessary.
2) After 30 seconds of positive pressure ventilation, respirations are absent and heart rate is 50 beats per minute. What is your next step?
Make sure that ventilation is effective by repeating the steps to improve ventilation, including increased pressure and an alternative or advanced airway (endotracheal tube
or laryngeal mask).
You should start chest compressions, preferably using the two thumb technique, while positive pressure ventilation is continued.
Coordinate both interventions to perform 1 breath every 3 compressions. Recommended rate is 90 compressions and 30 breaths per minute. Reassess after 45-60 seconds.
3) If no ventilation device or oxygen source is available, is mouth-to-mouth respiration recommended?
One of the most important issues in disasters is the safety of rescue and medical personnel.
In this case, if there is no information regarding the infectious status of the mother before delivery mouth-to-mouth respiration should be avoided since the
exposure to contaminated blood involves high risk for acquiring diseases, such as HIV or hepatitis B infections.
4) Is oxygen always needed for appropriate resuscitation interventions?
Use of excessive oxygen should be avoided in the management of neonates. It has been shown that for most cases, positive pressure ventilation using room air is as
effective as the delivery of high oxygen concentrations.
If available, oxygen can be used when after 90 seconds there is no evident improvement (heart rate < 100 beats
per min; ineffective breathing; prolonged cyanosis).