Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

Meeting to review newborn resuscitation guidelines

6 to 9 January 2009

WHO/Marie-Agnes Heine

WHO has started the process of updating the clinical guidelines for basic resuscitation of newborn babies. In a meeting that took place in Geneva from 6 to 9 January 2009, an international panel of ten experts reviewed the current WHO guidelines, identified elements that need modification as well as issues that should be targeted for systematic review or additional research.

While international guidelines for advanced neonatal resuscitation exist, these cannot always be implemented in settings with resource constraints, which persist in most of the developing world. This is why, already in 1998, WHO had developed guidelines that can be implemented wherever a baby is born with the assistance of a skilled provider. The basic steps of newborn resuscitation are very effective to save the lives of newborn babies. WHO is planning to develop universal, up-to-date resuscitation guidelines that reflect current scientific evidence and are feasible for most settings. It is expected that the new WHO guidelines on basic newborn resuscitation will be available in 2010.

WHO/Marie-Agnes Heine