Immediate Life Support (ILS)- Healthcare

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Newborn CPR for BLS Healthcare Professionals

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Newborn CPR Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals

This document outlines the basic CPR guidelines tailored for healthcare professionals when assisting newborns. These protocols differ significantly from those applied to older infants, reflecting the unique physiological conditions and needs of newborns.

Understanding Newborn Conditions

Newborns' physical state at birth can vary widely, from healthy and vigorous to critically ill. Recognising these conditions promptly is vital:

  • Healthy Newborns: Typically appear blue but quickly gain colour, demonstrating good muscle tone and a heart rate between 120-150 beats per minute.
  • Less Healthy Newborns: May remain blue, show reduced muscle tone, and have a heart rate below 100 beats per minute.
  • Seriously Ill Newborns: Present with pallor, lack of muscle tone, no breathing effort, and a slow or undetectable heart rate.

Initial Steps in Newborn CPR

Immediate actions are crucial for stabilising the newborn:

  • Ensure the baby is warm and dry, placing them on their back with the head in a neutral position.
  • Assess the baby's tone, breathing, and heart rate, and record these vital signs.
  • If there's no breathing or only gasping after 30 seconds, seek help and consider monitoring oxygen levels.
  • Open the airway and deliver five inflation breaths, reassessing the heart rate afterwards.

Advancing Care

  • If there's no improvement, re-open the airway and repeat the inflation breaths, considering two-person airway control if feasible.
  • Initiate chest compressions if the heart rate is below 60 bpm, following a 3:1 compression to breath ratio.
  • Continuously monitor vital signs every 30 seconds throughout resuscitation.

Additional Considerations

Further actions may include:

  • Establishing venous access for drug administration.
  • Adjusting oxygen levels based on oximetry readings.
Communication and Teamwork

Keeping the parents informed and conducting a debrief with the healthcare team are critical final steps.

Note: This guide is intended for healthcare professionals trained in newborn resuscitation and not for laypersons or standard first aiders.