Timing of interventions in the delivery room: does reality compare with neonatal resuscitation guidelines?

J Pediatr. 2013 Dec;163(6):1553-1557.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.06.007. Epub 2013 Jul 15.


Objective: To determine the proportion of infants who had the tasks recommended in the neonatal resuscitation guidelines performed within 30 and 60 seconds of birth, and the time taken to perform each task.

Study design: From video recordings in delivery rooms, we determined the time from birth and arrival on a resuscitation table to warm, assess heart rate (HR), attach an oximeter, and provide respiratory support for each infant. We determined the proportion of infants who had these tasks completed by 30 and 60 seconds, and the median time taken to perform each task.

Results: We reviewed and analyzed data from 189 infants (median gestational age, 29 weeks [IQR, 27-34 weeks]; median birth weight, 1220 g [IQR, 930-2197 g]). Twelve infants (6%) were not on the resuscitation table within 30 seconds of birth. Less than 10% of infants were placed in polyethylene bags or had their HR determined by 30 seconds. By 60 seconds, 48% were in polyethylene bags, 33% had their HR determined, 38% received respiratory support, and 60% had an oximeter attached. The median time taken to perform all tasks was greater than that recommended in the guidelines.

Conclusion: Most newborns were not managed within the time frame recommended in resuscitation guidelines. The recommended 30- and 60-second intervals may be too short.

Keywords: Beats per minute; DR; Delivery room; HR; Heart rate; ILCOR; International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation; NMH; National Maternity Hospital; PPV; Positive-pressure ventilation; RWH; Royal Women’s Hospital; bpm.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Delivery Rooms
  • Guideline Adherence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resuscitation / standards*
  • Time Factors