Infant Resuscitation Practices of Midwives in a Developing Country

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Abstract

Background:

Effective basic newborn resuscitation is an important strategy to reduce the incidence of birth asphyxia and associated newborn outcomes. Outcomes for newborns can be markedly improved if health providers have appropriate newborn resuscitation skills.

Purpose:

To evaluate the skills of midwives in newborn resuscitation in delivery rooms in Jordan.

Methods:

Data were collected from observation of 118 midwives from National Health Service hospitals in the north of Jordan who performed basic newborn resuscitation for full-term neonates. A structured checklist of 14 items of basic skills of resuscitation was used. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data.

Results:

The results highlighted the lack of appropriate performance of the 8 necessary skills at birth by midwives. About 17.8% of midwives had performed the core competencies at birth (ie, assessing breathing pattern/crying, cleaning airways) appropriately and met the standard sequence. Less than half of midwives assessed skin color (40.7%) and breathing pattern or crying (41.5%) appropriately with or without minor deviations from standard sequences. Of the 6 skills that had to be performed by midwives at 30 seconds up to 5 minutes after birth, 4 skills were not performed by about one-quarter of midwives.

Implications for Practice and Research:

The midwives' practices at the 2 hospitals of this study were not supported by best practice international guidelines. The study showed that a high proportion of midwives had imperfect basic newborn resuscitation skills despite a mean experience of 8 years. This highlights the critical need for continuing medical education in the area of basic newborn resuscitation. The results highlight the need for formal assessment of midwives' competence in basic newborn resuscitation. National evidence-based policies and quality assurance are needed to reflect contemporary practice.

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