Improving newborn outcomes with the use of an innovative device to measure heart rate
Jacquelyn Patterson, MD
BACKGROUND: Non-breathing newborns in low- and lower middle-income countries (LMICs) are often misclassified as stillborn, and therefore not resuscitated, because heart rate (HR) is not routinely assessed. A similar lack of information about HR during resuscitation of newborns may result in less timely and appropriate interventions, and worse outcomes.
GAP: The effect of implementation of Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) with measurement of HR using NeoBeat on the problem of misclassification of stillbirths and time to effective breathing is unknown.
HYPOTHESIS: Implementation of HBB with NeoBeat will decrease the reported total stillbirth rate by 15% compared to standard care. Implementation of HR-guided HBB will increase the proportion of newborns not breathing well at birth who are effectively breathing at 3 minutes by 50% compared to HBB with NeoBeat.
METHODS: This is a pre-post multicenter interventional trial comparing standard of care to HBB with NeoBeat and HR-guided HBB. The study will take place over three years in three maternity units in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
IMPACT: Assessing HR at birth and during resuscitation in LMICs using NeoBeat has the potential to reduce rates of stillbirth and improve resuscitation of non-breathing newborns.