Transitioning from intrauterine to extra-uterine life is the single most dangerous event that most of us will ever encounter in our lifetime; even when we don’t remember our birth. Most noteworthy, the human body makes more radical physiologic adjustments immediately following birth than they will ever have to do again. Yet, this remarkable aspect of birth is more than 90% of babies make the transitions smoothly; with little to no assistance required.
Consequently, it is for the remaining few percent that the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) is designed to help. While the percentage requiring assistance may be small, the real number of babies requiring help is substantial because of the large number of births. Therefore, the implications of not receiving help can be fatal or associated with long-lasting problems. Moreover, skillful resuscitation of a newborn is usually successful, in contrast to resuscitation attempts made on older children or adults. This success can be one of the most gratifying experiences of a healthcare professional. Additionally, learning how do it well is extremely important.
New AHA/AAP NRP guidelines require healthcare providers who come into contact with newborns to complete the Neonatal Resuscitation Program. Above all, appropriate neonatal resuscitation is essential for the newborn’s well-being.