The use of oxygen for delivery room resuscitation of newborn infants in non-Western countries



Publication Details

Koh, J., Yeo, C., Wright, I., Lui, K., Saugstad, O., Tarnow-Mordi, W., Smyth, J. & Oei, J. (2012). The use of oxygen for delivery room resuscitation of newborn infants in non-Western countries. Early Human Development, 88 (8), 631-635.


Background Using pure oxygen (PO) in neonatal resuscitation increases oxidative stress and mortality in full-term hypoxic infants. International neonatal resuscitation guidelines recommend air or blended oxygen for resuscitation regardless of gestational age but this requires education and equipment that may not be globally available. Objective To determine current neonatal resuscitation practices and availability of oxygen blending equipment in non-Western hospitals. Design 196 email addresses were obtained through perinatal societies representing 45 hospitals in 14 countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Results 68 (34.6%) responses were received from all 14 countries. The majority (90%, n = 61) of respondents were aware of recent guideline changes but continued to resuscitate with PO because of the lack of equipment and uncertainty about international guidelines (61%, n = 41 for term, 44%, n = 30 for preterm). Most (81%, n = 55) believed that PO caused adverse effects in term neonates. The availability of oxygen blending equipment correlated significantly with the country's gross domestic product. Conclusion The majority of the practitioners we surveyed in non-Western countries are aware of the most recent recommendations regarding oxygen use in neonatal resuscitation. However, lack of oxygen blending equipment remains a hindrance to the use of blended gas at resuscitation in low resource, non-western countries. Global guidelines from developed countries must take into account the resource limitations and implementation difficulties faced by countries with restricted resources, where the majority of the high-risk infants are born.

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