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The primary reason for resuscitation in the newborn infant differs from that in adults. While most adults requiring resuscitation will have a cardiac event, the newborn infant’s heart is healthy and it will usually be a respiratory (hypoxic) event that will have compromised the newborn. Particular attention to management of the Airway and Breathing is therefore imperative.
The fetal lung is filled with fluid (approximately 30 mL/kg, which equates to about 100 mL in an average term baby). This is absorbed rapidly soon after birth due to various adaptive processes, the lung becomes aerated and a functional residual capacity (FRC) established. In compromised hypoxic infants this may not occur and the onset of breathing may be delayed. These babies need intervention.
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