Neonatal resuscitation: review of ventilation equipment and survey of practice in Australia and New Zealand

J Paediatr Child Health. 2004 Apr;40(4):208-12. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2004.00339.x.


Objective: The equipment used to provide positive pressure ventilation at neonatal resuscitation varies between institutions. Available devices were reviewed and their use surveyed in a geographically defined region. The aim of this study was to establish which resuscitation equipment is used at neonatal intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand.

Methods: A questionnaire was sent to a neonatologist at each of the 29 neonatal intensive care units in Australia and New Zealand, asking which resuscitation equipment they used. If it was not returned, follow up was by email and telephone.

Results: Data was obtained from all units. Round face masks are used at all centres. Anatomically shaped masks are infrequently used at two of the three centres (10%) that have them. Straight endotracheal tubes are used exclusively at 23 (79%) centres. Shouldered tubes are used infrequently at three of the six centres that have them. The Laerdal Infant Resuscitator self-inflating bag is used at 22 (76%) centres. Flow-inflating bags are used at 12 (41%) centres. The Neopuff Infant Resuscitator is used at 14 (48%) centres. Varying oxygen concentrations are provided at delivery at 6/25 (24%) centres.

Conclusions: There is a paucity of evidence for the efficacy of the equipment used currently to resuscitate newborn infants. This complete survey of the tertiary centres in a geographical region shows considerable variation in practice, reflecting this lack of evidence and consequent uncertainty among clinicians. Further research is necessary to determine which devices are preferable for this most important and common intervention.

MeSH terms

  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Bradycardia / epidemiology
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation*
  • Equipment Design
  • Guidelines as Topic*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / instrumentation*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / epidemiology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*