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Authors

  1. Barry, Maebh MSc Midwifery, PGDCHSE, Dip Management, RGN, RM, RNT
  2. Dixon, Mark MSc Emergency Medical Technology, REMT-AP
  3. Armstrong, Claire PhD
  4. Keane, Frank BSc

Abstract

Dissemination of pediatric basic life support skills, while recommended, is not done routinely for pregnant women and their partners within the maternity services. This study evaluates an e-learning program coupled with the use of a novel infant pillow mannequin to determine whether a low-cost intervention with potential for widespread application could enable training in the event of an infant choking and the provision of basic life support. A prospective cohort study with an uncontrolled pre- and posttest design was used following institutional ethical approval. A 4-week cycle of antenatal education classes in a regional Maternity Hospital in Ireland and a purposive sample of pregnant women and their partners attending the antenatal education classes were used. The following measures were assessed: (1) confidence in knowing what to do in the event of an infant choking; (2) confidence in performing infant cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR); (3) ability to perform the requisite skills; and (4) the perceived acceptability of the infant pillow mannequin as a means of practice. Twenty-four individuals completed a pre- and postprogram questionnaire. The e-learning program along with practice on the pillow mannequin significantly affected confidence (P < .001) in the actions to take in the event of an infant choking and in performing infant CPR. Forty-four participants used the pillow mannequin for practice and volunteered to have their skills assessed. More than 90% demonstrated correct positioning of the infant in the event of choking, correctly identified the correct ratio of chest compressions to breaths, and conducted chest compressions to the required depth. Three distinct categories of comment were identified: usefulness of the program; simplicity of the program/pillow mannequin; and accessibility for practice at home. A self-instructional e-learning program coupled with an infant pillow mannequin enables parents to learn the procedure in the event of an infant choking and to demonstrate basic life support. This low-cost intervention has the potential for widespread application within developed and developing countries.