Objective All emergency departments (EDs) should be adequately equipped and prepared to deal with unexpected neonatal deliveries and resuscitation. A study was undertaken to determine what neonatal resuscitation equipment is available in EDs in the UK and to formulate recommendations for improvement.
Methods A prospective telephone survey of all UK EDs was conducted between November 2008 and February 2009 to determine the type of neonatal resuscitation equipment available as recommended in the fourth edition of the APLS guidelines.
Results 169 EDs were identified, 137 (81%) of which successfully completed the survey. The majority of EDs followed APLS recommendations for provision of neonatal resuscitation equipment. There was a particularly good availability of basic airway equipment (99%), but 11% did not have a source of warmth, 5% lacked advanced airway equipment and 31% had no equipment for obtaining umbilical access. A Resuscitaire was present in 47% of EDs surveyed.
Conclusion There is a good level of provision of neonatal resuscitation equipment in UK EDs, although certain areas need to be addressed. There is a particular need for improving the provision of warming and advanced airway equipment. The authors consider that it is not necessary to have a neonatal Resuscitaire in the ED provided other equipment is readily available. The findings of this survey prompt the recommendation that all EDs should review their neonatal resuscitation equipment in accordance with APLS guidance, and ensure that staff have immediate access to this equipment and are comfortable with its use.
- Neonatal resuscitation, emergency department
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