To determine the compliance to Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) guidelines in our institution, by the use of videotaped newborn resuscitations.


NRP is the standard of care for newborn resuscitation. The application of NRP guidelines and resuscitation skills in actual clinical settings is undocumented.


A video recorder, mounted to the radiant warmer in the main obstetrical operating room, was used to record all high-risk resuscitations. All members of the resuscitation team were NRP-certified. The videotapes were reviewed within 14 days of the resuscitation and then erased. This ongoing review was approved as a quality assurance (QA) project ensuring confidentiality under California law. The first 100 resuscitations were evaluated to assess NRP compliance. Each step in the resuscitation (positioning, oxygen delivery, ventilation, chest compressions, intubation, and medication) was graded. A score was devised, with 2 points being awarded for every correct decision and proper procedure, 1 point for delayed interventions or inadequate technique, and zero points for indicated procedures that were omitted or for interventions that were not indicated. The total points were divided by the total possible points for that patient. The scores for the first 25 resuscitations (group 1) and the last 25 resuscitations (group 2) were compared.


Fifty-four percent of the 100 resuscitations had deviations from the NRP guidelines. Ten percent received overly aggressive stimulation and 22% had poor suction technique. Of the 78 infants given oxygen, this decision was considered incorrect in 15% and the delivery technique was poor in 10% of the infants given oxygen. Of those requiring mask ventilation (n = 18), 24% had poor chest expansion, 11% used an incorrect rate, and 17% had inadequate reevaluation. Twelve infants were intubated; only 7 were successfully intubated on the first attempt and only 4 were intubated in <20 seconds. The longest intubation attempt was 50 seconds. Naloxone was given to 2 patients. One was breathing spontaneously with a heart rate >100. Resuscitations receiving a perfect evaluation score were more likely to occur in infants needing less intervention. The level of resuscitation required for groups 1 and 2 were statistically similar. There was no difference in resuscitation scores between the 2 groups. Only the inappropriate use of deep suctioning improved, with 8 of 25 events in group 1, and 0 of 25 in group 2.


We have found a significant number of deviations from the NRP guidelines. Video recording of actual clinical practice is a useful QA tool for monitoring the conduct of newborn resuscitation. We are now conducting repeat video assessments of individual NRP providers to determine whether there is improved performance.

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