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Neonatal resuscitation: it’s a family affair
  1. Colm Patrick Finbarr O'Donnell1,2
  1. 1 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2 School of Medicine, University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Professor Colm Patrick Finbarr O'Donnell, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, National Maternity Hospital, Dublin D02 YH21, Ireland; codonnell{at}nmh.ie

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Video-recording was first used to assess performance during neonatal resuscitation by Neil Finer and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD).1 I visited UCSD in 2003, where Wade Rich very kindly showed me recordings from their delivery rooms (DRs). Some of them, he opined, were ‘not our finest moments’. The first showed three anxious clinicians, each simultaneously applying a stethoscope to the chest of a spontaneously breathing preterm infant to assess the heart rate. I quickly concluded that (1) while no harm was done, it was a bit of a stuff-up; (2) it was very familiar; (3) as this was the first video I had seen, I had done it myself or had been present when it happened; and (4) this was so enlightening, I had to convince my colleagues in Melbourne, Australia, that we should video in the DR too.

At UCSD, recording was part of a quality assurance project; parental permission was not required and confidentiality was assured under California law. As this did not apply in Victoria, enthusiasm was tempered by fears of medicolegal repercussions and staff rebellion. We proposed seeking parents’ permission to record before birth if time allowed. If it did not, we proposed recording and seeking their permission to view it afterwards. We agreed that we would not make copies because, if we did, we could not control where the recordings might end up or guarantee the confidentiality of the babies or the staff involved (perhaps prescient, as it predated social media). With the blessing of our ethics committee, …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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