Neonatal Resuscitation Understanding challenges and identifying a strategy for implementation in Nepal
Abstract: Despite the unprecedented improvement in child health in last 15 years, burden of stillbirth and neonatal death remain the key challenge in Nepal and the reduction of these deaths will be crucial for reaching the health targets for Sustainable development goal by 2030.The aim of this thesis was to explore the risk factors for stillbirth and neonatal death and change in perinatal outcomes after the introduction of the Helping Babies Breathe Quality Improvement Cycle (HBB QIC) in Nepal.This was a prospective cohort study with a nested case-control design completed in a tertiary hospital in Nepal. Information were collected from the women who had experienced perinatal death and live birth among referent population; a video recording was done in the neonatal resuscitation corner to collect information on the health workers’ performance in neonatal resuscitation. Lack of antenatal care had the highest association with antepartum stillbirth (aOR 4.2, 95% CI 3.2–5.4), births that had inadequate fetal heart rate monitoring were associated with intrapartum stillbirth (aOR 1.9, CI 95% 1.5–2.4), and babies who were born premature and small-for-gestational-age had the highest risk for neonatal death in the hospital (aOR 16.2, 95% CI 12.3–21.3). Before the introduction of the HBB QIC, health workers displayed poor adherence to the neonatal resuscitation protocol. After the introduction of HBB QIC, the health workers demonstrated improvement in their neonatal resuscitation skills and these were retained until six months after training. Daily bag-and-mask skill checks (RR 5.1 95% CI 1.9–13.5), preparation for birth (RR 2.4, 95% CI 1.0–5.6), self-evaluation checklists (RR 3.8, 95% CI 1.4–9.7) and weekly review and reflection meetings (RR 2.6, 95% 1.0–7.4) helped the health workers to retain their neonatal resuscitation skills. The health workers demonstrated improvement in ventilation of babies within one minute of birth and there was a reduction in intrapartum stillbirth (aOR 0.46, 95% CI 0.32–0.66) and first-day neonatal mortality (aOR 0.51, 95% CI 0.31–0.83). The study provides information on challenges in reducing stillbirth and neonatal death in low income settings and provides a strategy to improve health workers adherence to neonatal resuscitation to reduce the mortality. The HBB QIC can be implemented in similar clinical settings to improve quality of care and survival in Nepal, but for primary care settings, the QIC need to be evaluated further.
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