Aim During manual positive pressure ventilation (PPV), delivering a recommended respiratory rate (RR) is operator dependent. We tested the efficacy of a metronome as a standardised method to improve the accuracy of delivered RR during manual PPV in a neonatal resuscitation simulation.
Methods We conducted a blinded simulation in two consecutive stages. Using a self-inflating bag, 36 CPR trained operators provided PPV to a modified neonatal manikin via an endotracheal tube. Pressure and flow signals were captured by a respiratory function monitor. In the first standard stage, participants delivered RR as they would in delivery room. Prior to the second stage, they were asked about what their target RR had been and a metronome was set to that target. Subsequently, operators repeated PPV attempting to coordinate their delivered RR with the metronome. To evaluate accuracy we generated the variable RR Gap as the absolute difference between delivered and target RR. The primary outcome was the difference in RR Gap between stages.
Results Mean (SD) target RR was 50 (8.7) inflations/min. During the initial stage, median (IQR) RR Gap was 11.6 (4.7–18.3) inflations/min and 20/36 participants (55.5%) had a mean delivered RR beyond the recommended range. When paced by the metronome, RR Gap was reduced to 0.2 (0.1–0.4) inflations/min and 32/36 participants (89%) fell within the recommended range.
Conclusions The use of a metronome improved the accuracy of delivered RR during manual PPV. Novel approaches to deliver an accurate RR during manual PPV need to be tested in more realistic scenarios.
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