When should resuscitation at birth cease?


It is rare for newborn infants to require prolonged resuscitation at birth. While there are detailed national and international guidelines on when and how to provide resuscitation to newborns, there is little existing guidance on when newborn resuscitation should be stopped. In this paper we review current guidance surrounding adult, paediatric and neonatal resuscitation as well as recent evidence of outcome for newborn infants requiring prolonged resuscitation. We discuss the ethical principles that can potentially guide decisions surrounding resuscitation and post-resuscitation care. We also propose a structured approach to stopping resuscitation.


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