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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2015 Oct;27(7):690-704. doi: 10.1177/1010539515603447.

Does Resuscitation Training Reduce Neonatal Deaths in Low-Resource Communities? A Systematic Review of the Literature.

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University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada.
University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada


Every year, nearly 1 million babies succumb to birth asphyxia (BA) within the Asia-Pacific region. The present study sought to determine whether educational interventions containing some element of resuscitation training would decrease the relative risk (RR) of neonatal mortality attributable to BA in low-resource communities. We systematically reviewed 3 electronic databases and identified 14 relevant reports. For community deliveries, providing traditional birth attendants (TBAs) with neonatal resuscitation training modestly reduced the RR in 3 of 4 studies. For institutional deliveries, training a range of clinical staff clearly reduced the RR within 2 of 8 studies. When resuscitation-specific training was directed to community and institutional health care workers, a slight benefit was observed in 1 of 2 studies. Specific training in neonatal resuscitation appears most effective when provided to TBAs (specifically, those presented with ongoing opportunities to review and update their skills), but this particular intervention alone may not appreciably reduce mortality.


intrapartum hypoxia; neonatal mortality; perinatal mortality; traditional birth attendant

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