Documentation during neonatal resuscitation: a systematic review

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2021 Jul;106(4):376-380. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-319948. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Objective: Accurate documentation in healthcare is necessary for ethical, legal, research and quality improvement purposes. In this review, we aimed to evaluate the accuracy of methods of documentation of delivery room resuscitations.

Methods: A systematic literature search in MEDLINE was conducted to identify original studies that reported the quality of documentation records during newborn resuscitation in the delivery room. Data extracted from the studies included population characteristics, methodology, documentation protocols, use of gold standard and main results (initial assessment of heart rate and peripheral oxygen saturation, respiratory support and supplementary oxygen).

Results: In total, 197 records were screened after initial database search, of which seven studies met the inclusion criteria and were finally included in this review. Four studies were chart reviews and three studies compared conventional documentation methods with video recording. Only one study tested an intervention to improve documentation. Documentation was often inaccurate and important resuscitation events and interventions were poorly recorded. Lack of uniformity among studies preclude pooled analysis, but it seems that complex or advanced procedures were more accurately reported than basic interventions.

Conclusions: There is little literature regarding accuracy of documentation during neonatal resuscitation, but current quality of documentation seems to be unsatisfactory. There is a need for consensus guidelines and innovative solutions in newborn resuscitation documentation.

Keywords: data collection; neonatology; resuscitation.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Documentation / standards*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / organization & administration*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal / standards
  • Observational Studies as Topic
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Resuscitation / methods*
  • Video Recording*


  • Oxygen