Helping Babies Breathe in Haiti

Monday, 18 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Taryn M. Edwards, MSN, CRNP, NNP-BC
Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Learning Objective 1: The learner will be able to describe the importance of global health initiatives in a third world country.

Learning Objective 2: The learner will be able to describe the Helping Babies Breathe program.

Review of Evidence:   The United Nation’s Millennium Development Goal 4 is to decrease child mortality (under five years of age) by two-thirds by 2015.  Currently, there are 7.7 million deaths of children under age five years worldwide, 3.1 million of those are neonatal deaths.  In Haiti, the mortality rate for children under the age of five years is 87 per 1,000.  Neonatal resuscitation is recognized as an intervention for which there is evidence of effectiveness.  The American Academy of Pediatrics in collaboration with the World Health Organization, US Agency for International Development, Saving Newborn Lives, the National Institute of Child Health and Development, and other global health organizations developed an evidence-based educational program to teach neonatal resuscitation in resource-limited areas called Helping Babies Breathe.

Summary of Evaluation of Evidence:  Over a two day experience, 16 birth attendants were trained using the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) course.  Prior to the birth of the baby, there was focus on the preparation of the equipment that is provided in the HBB kit.  The most basic concept for the birth attendants to easily comprehend was routine care.  These are the interventions that are typically performed at a birth (drying, keeping warm, checking breathing, clamping and cutting the cord).  Concepts like “The Golden Minute” where suctioning and ventilation with bag and mask were challenging to convey, but after much perseverance each birth attendant was able to perform the intervention independently.  After the course was completed the HBB kits were given to the birth attendants so they could train others and also practice monthly.  The birth attendants were extremely grateful for the education provided and the opportunity to save more babies.