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A longitudinal cohort study to investigate the retention of knowledge and skills following attendance on the Newborn Life support course
  1. Chiara M J Mosley,
  2. Ben N J Shaw
  1. NICU, Liverpool Women's Hospital, Liverpool, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Ben N J Shaw, NICU, Liverpool Women's Hospital Foundation Trust, Crown Street, Liverpool L8 7SS, UK;{at}


Aim To investigate whether airway management and non-invasive ventilatory skills are retained after the Neonatal Life support (NLS) course.

Methods Candidates who attended and passed the NLS course were retested by two registered instructors using the NLS ‘airway testing sheet’ unannounced at 3–5 and 12–14 months after their NLS course. Prior to the test, they were also asked to complete a proforma, indicating their own assessment of their competence in being able to effectively carry out all the items used in the NLS airway test.

Results Sixty-seven candidates were tested at 3–5 months, 26 (39%) passed first time, 34 (51%) on retest and 7 (10%) failed. At 12–14 months, 43 were tested, 19 (44%) passed on first attempt, 22 (51%) on retest and 2 (5%) failed. At 12–14 months, more candidates exposed to more than five resuscitations per month passed first time compared to those who were exposed to less than one resuscitation per month (p=0.029). More candidates who were offered resuscitation training at 6 monthly intervals compared to at yearly intervals passed the test on their first attempt at 3–5 months (p=0.022). Self-assessment of competence was not different between candidates who passed and those who failed.

Conclusions This study suggests that skills when tested in a simulated scenario are highly likely to have deteriorated within a few months of attending the NLS course. There is a need for research to determine whether deteriorations in skills after the NLS, as assessed by simulation, correlate with deterioration of skills in clinical practice.

  • Resuscitation
  • Medical Education
  • Neonatology

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