Try This At Home

Try This At Home

Medical Centers are equipped with oxygen outlets on the wall. When newborns are having trouble at birth, 100% oxygen is routinely used as part of the resuscitation efforts. But around the world, not all babies who need resuscitation are conveniently close to an oxygen supply. A study published in the August 2003 Pediatrics looked at 609 babies from around the world who had needed resuscitation. Half of them received supplemental oxygen, but half received only room air.

When the babies were 18 to 24 months old, no difference could be found between the two groups.

Getting the air moving is more important than what the babies are breathing.

To me, this study underlines the value of all parents and people working with children being trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Rather than waiting for an ambulance or hospital outfitted with oxygen, there is great value in getting started even if all you have is room air and no fancy equipment. Room air resuscitation can work, and work well.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.

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