What is the initial management of cardiac distress in newborns?

Updated: Sep 15, 2020
  • Author: Catharine A Bon, MD; Chief Editor: Kirsten A Bechtel, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

If the heart rate is greater than 100 bpm and the baby is pink with nonlabored breathing, proceed with routine care. If the heart rate is greater than 100 bpm and the baby is cyanotic or has labored breathing, do the following:

  • Clear airway and begin monitoring pulse oximetry oxygen saturation (SpO2)

  • Consider supplementary oxygen

  • Consider continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

  • Institute postresuscitation care

If the heart rate is less than 100 bpm and the baby is gasping or has apnea, do the following:

  • Clear airway and begin SpO2 monitoring

  • Provide positive-pressure ventilation (PPV)

  • Consider ECG monitor

  • Reassess heart rate, and, if greater 100 bpm, institute postresuscitation care


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