Introduction Up to 10% of infants require assistance at birth. Paediatricians, midwives, obstetricians and anaesthetists could all potentially be involved, and each Royal College recommends some form of newborn life support training. This study aimed to determine training and confidence levels amongst staff present at infant deliveries.
Method Midwives, ANNPs and all grades of doctors in Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Anaesthetics across Wales were surveyed with an anonymous online questionnaire to assess level of experience, training and confidence ratings in performing newborn resuscitation.
Results 180 questionnaires were completed (response rate 32%). The majority had been involved in newborn resuscitations (Table 1). 35% Obstetricians, 53% Anaesthetists, 57% Midwives, 55% Paediatricians received no form of training prior to attending deliveries, (Table 2) shows overall levels of training. 43% had completed NLS in the last 4 years. Confidence levels varied between specialities (Graph 3), with a statistically significant increase in those completing an NLS course. Overall 94% of those completing NLS felt it assisted them at deliveries, with 97% rating themselves as confident in their resuscitation skills.
Discussion This study demonstrates that all the health professionals questioned are involved in newborn resuscitation and therefore should have resuscitation training. There is wide variation in levels of training and confidence, with recommendations of the Royal colleges not currently being met, even by some attending paediatric doctors. Our study has shown that Foundation and General practice trainees in particular, are less experienced, less likely to have life support training, and are less confident in their ability to resuscitate infants at birth. With units across the UK seeing an increasing proportion of non-career Paediatricians working on their rota’s, this is an important finding. Appropriate training in resuscitation, such as NLS, is vital for any health professional who may be in attendance at newborn deliveries. This should be undertaken prior to commencing jobs that require this role, and skills should be refreshed at regular intervals. Where formal training is given, a demonstrable improvement in confidence is seen across the multi-professional team, and is likely to improve patient safety.
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