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Tip of the Week: EMS Neonatal Resuscitation
Neonatal resuscitation (newborn resuscitation) is one of those EMS skills for EMTs and paramedics that is seldom used but very important to master. It is, however, not a difficult set of skills since most of what an emergency medical technician does is of a basic life support nature. Even if the provider is an advanced life support provider like an EMT-I or paramedic, the basics of newborn resuscitation is very simple 99% of the time.
This is also something commonly tested on the NREMT test so it is an important topic for EMT and paramedic students to study for their national registry test. Whether you are working currently in the field on an ambulance or are in school to become a prehospital provider, it is important to review skills like this frequently to maintain your knowledge.
The first thing to remember is that only about 1% of all newborns require advanced life support interventions. That means that 99 out of 100 babies born in your ambulances are going to need only basic support measures. Childbirth is a natural event. If major life support was needed, the human race would have died off thousands of years ago. Like so many other skills in EMS as every level, good basic skills make the best providers (EMTs and Paramedics).
The basics of Neonatal Resuscitation are:
- Dry, Warm, Position, Stimulate, Suction (mouth then nose)
- blow by oxygen as needed for cyanosis
- bag valve mask with 100% O2 for bradypnea (<40 BPM) Bag for 20 to 30 breaths over 30 seconds
- HR <60 after 30 seconds of BVM — Initiate chest compressions with continued BVM (120 Compressions per minute with ventilations at the ratio of 3:1)
Advanced measures of Neonatal Resuscitation include:
- Deep tracheal suctioning with signs of meconium aspiration
- PALS cardiac interventions and drugs
Links for Neonatal Resuscitation:
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This week’s Musical Artist Matthew Ebel and the song “Downtown”
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