We’re excited to announce our 2017-2018 priority project, The First Breath!
One in ten babies in the US is born premature. The care these babies get during their first breaths of life is vital.
The First Breath priority project will fund a manikin the size of a premature baby. This manikin will be used to train Boone County Health Center (BCHC) providers.
“As much as we’d like to think all moms get to deliver at 40 weeks, the truth is high risk pregnancies do come through Boone County Health Center. We need to be prepared for anything,” said Dr. Travis. “In our rural setting, we don’t have a level three neonatal intensive care unit, so our goal is to stabilize these infants and transfer them if needed.”
Doctors Pudwill, Dodds and Travis are certified instructors in the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Neonatal Resuscitation Program. They have trained all BCHC providers how to help a newborn baby breathe and how to get the heart beating.
However, babies born premature have special care needs, because their lungs are not yet fully developed.
The providers need a special manikin to train in the care of premature babies. It’s a 25-week Resusci-Anne Neonate manikin.
This manikin is the size of a baby born at 25 weeks. It can be controlled by a computer and programmed with a wide variety of scenarios to train providers.
In addition, BCHC providers will soon be trained in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO). This training teaches a team-based approach to caring for both mom and baby in an obstetrical (OB) emergency.
ALSO is not taught anywhere in Nebraska, so Dr. Travis is in the process of become a certified ALSO instructor. Once certified, he will train other OB providers at BCHC. He plans to share the training with other hospitals in the area as well.
“Only 54% of rural hospitals nationwide still deliver babies, so it’s more vital than ever to provide access to the training needed to treat a mother or newborn in an emergency,” said Dr. Travis.
The Boone County Big Give will help fund The First Breath priority project. A special demonstration and free lunch will be offered at BCHC during the Big Give on December 1st.