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J Perinatol. 2002 Jul-Aug;22(5):386-90.

Positive changes among very low birth weight infant Apgar scores that are associated with the Neonatal Resuscitation Program in Illinois.

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Saint Joseph Hospital, Resurrection Health Care and Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60657, USA.



The American Academy of Pediatrics and American Heart Association sponsored Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) was started in Illinois 1987 to standardize knowledge and skills for successful resuscitation to decrease newborn morbidity and mortality. This study evaluated the hypothesis that the statewide NRP in Illinois hospitals was associated with positive outcomes in the Apgar scores among very low birth weight newborns.


A retrospective design was used to compare the (a) different rates of lower (0-6) and higher (7-10) 1- and 5-minute Apgar scores and (b) positive change from a lower 1-minute to a higher 5-minute Apgar score before and after NRP was started. Analyses included maternal characteristics, birth weight groups (grams: 500-749, 750-999, 1000-1249, 1250-1499), and hospital levels (I, II, III).


A significantly higher proportion of infants had a higher 1-minute and a higher 5-minute Apgar score after NRP, overall, for Level II and II+ hospitals and for each weight group. Logistic regression indicated that newborns with low 1-minute Apgar scores were 81% more likely to have a higher 5-minute Apgar score after NRP.


Significant improvement in Apgar score occurred after NRP. Empirical support is demonstrated for the clinical effectiveness of NRP instruction in Illinois hospitals.

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