, Volume 171, Issue 6, pp 921-926
Date: 16 Dec 2011

Perinatal network consensus guidelines on the resuscitation of extremely preterm infants born at <27 weeks’ gestation

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Abstract

In spite of recent advances in perinatal care and an increase in survival of extremely preterm infants over the last few years, there remains a lack of consensus about practical aspects of resuscitation of extremely preterm infants born before 27 weeks’ gestation. With this in the background, the working group of one of the Perinatal Networks in London, UK, set out to conduct a survey to explore the opinions of the doctors and nurses on resuscitation practices of infants born before 27 weeks’ gestation, with the aim of developing consensus guidelines. The working group emailed a questionnaire to all neonatal units within the Perinatal Network to seek the views of paediatric medical and nursing staff on resuscitation of infants born at <27 weeks’ gestation. The questionnaire was returned anonymously by post. The responses highlighted the difference of opinion that currently exists amongst the clinicians and nurses across the world around the resuscitation practices of extremely preterm infants; yet at the same time, there seemed to be some consensus on certain issues. Based on the survey (questionnaire) results and already existing literature, the working group of the North West London Perinatal Network (NWLPN) produced and implemented specific consensus guidelines on practical aspects of resuscitation for infants born before 27 weeks’ gestation for the network. The network plans to audit these guidelines in future and also produce a parent information leaflet explaining the relevance of these guidelines.