Helping Babies Breathe is a Really Good Idea

Two new articles showing that ‘Helping Babies Breathe‘ training really works.

Msemo G, Massawe A, Mmbando D, Rusibamayila N, Manji K, Kidanto HL, Mwizamuholya D, Ringia P, Ersdal HL, Perlman J: Newborn mortality and fresh stillbirth rates in tanzania after helping babies breathe training. Pediatrics 2013.

Goudar SS, Somannavar MS, Clark R, Lockyer JM, Revankar AP, Fidler HM, Sloan NL, Niermeyer S, Keenan WJ, Singhal N: Stillbirth and newborn mortality in india after helping babies breathe training. Pediatrics 2013.

Both used a before and after design, and both showed that stillbirth rates were lower after the HBB training. That may seem strange at first, how could stillbirths be reduced? Of course the answer is that after training, the health workers realize that some babies that were classified as stillbirths previously (either there wasn’t an attempt to resuscitate them or after a failed resuscitation they were called a stillbirth) are now being successfully resuscitated.

Wally Carlo has already shown that the infants who are resuscitated do well in the long run, in a study using a very similar resuscitation program, those babies who received assisted ventilation at birth had long term outcomes the same as the comparison group who had not resuscitation.


About Keith Barrington

I am a neonatologist and clinical researcher at Sainte Justine University Health Center in Montréal
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