Safer Births is a research and development collaboration to increase newborn survival. We do that by establishing new evidence, gaining new knowledge and developing innovative products to better equip and increase competence of health workers.

This report presents the goals and achievements of the project, an extensive annotated bibliography and takes a look at the way forward –to help save more lives.



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Ersdal HL.

Safer births – not just breakthroughs, the key is follow-through; the crucial role of alliances and implementation research in developing and implementing innovative products for improved newborn care and survival. Chair Symposium at Globvac Congress October 2013, Bergen, Norway  

Safer Births chosen by SkatteFUNN

Safer Births Project has been chosen by SkatteFUNN, a Norwegian grant for tax reductions to companies working in research and development. In relation to this grant, the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg visted some of the  Safer Births researchers to learn more about the innovations the project has released. See the video of the visit here (in Norwegian): 

Factors affecting effective ventilation during newborn resuscitation: a qualitative study among midwives in rural Tanzania

Intrapartum-related hypoxia accounts for 30% of neonatal deaths in Tanzania. This has led to the introduction and scaling-up of the Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) programme, which is a simulation-based learning programme in newborn resuscitation skills. Studies have documented ineffective ventilation of non-breathing newborns and the inability to follow the HBB algorithm among providers.

Fresh stillborn and severely asphyxiated neonates share a common hypoxic–ischemic pathway

Abstract Objective: To characterize, among non-breathing flaccid neonates at delivery, immediate heartrate and responses to ventilation in relation to the clinical diagnosis of fresh stillbirth (FSB) or early neonatal death (END) within 24 hours. Methods: The present cross-sectional study included all deliveries at Haydom Hospital in rural Tanzania between July 1, 2013, and July 31, 2016. Ventilation parameters and heartrate were recorded by monitors with ventilation and dry-electrocardiography sensors. Perinatal characteristics were recorded on data forms by trained research assistants. Results: Among 12 789 neonates delivered, 915 were ventilated; among ventilated  neonates, there were 53 (6%) FSBs and 64 (7%) ENDs. Electrocardiography was used in 46 FSBs and 55 ENDs, and

A Study on Educational Intervention Study Published

Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is a simulation-based educational program developed to help reduce perinatal mortality worldwide. A one-day HBB training course did not improve clinical management of neonates. The objective was to assess the impact of frequent brief (3–5 min weekly) onsite HBB simulation training on newborn resuscitation practices in the delivery room and the potential impact on 24-h neonatal mortality. The results showed that on-site, brief and frequent HBB simulation training appears to facilitate transfer of new knowledge and skills into clinical practice and to be accompanied by a decrease in neonatal mortality. Read the full publication here.

Dr. Jørgen Linde Presents at Norwegian Research Competition

Jørgen’s presentation “When life is a breath away” was nominated by the audience and the jury as the winner from the Stavanger Region, leading him to represent his work at the final competition in Bergen this fall.  Linde’s presentation included his findings on how his study showed that giving higher volumes when ventilating than the guidelines recommend produces better outcomes.  He also spoke about the importance of using heart rate as a form of feedback during ventilation and various techniques that can be used to optimize bag and mask ventilation.  The judges gave Jørgen's presentation the top score, and emphasized how important they

Haydom Begins RCT on Upright w/ PEEP

Haydom Hospital has recently begun a randomized control trial (RCT) comparing the Upright bag-mask with and without PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure). PEEP is considered to benefit newborn and small infants by preventing repeated lung alveolar collapse, helping recruit lung volume more efficiently, clearing fluid from the lungs and reducing damage to the lung tissue during ventilation. The international Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) suggests using PEEP for preterm infants during delivery room resuscitation. However, ILCOR is unable to make any recommendation for term infants due to insufficient data. The RCT in Tanzania will be helpful in providing the data needed

Positive Results on Training in Neonatal Ventilation with PEEP

Dr. Monica Thallinger's work using Upright with Newborn PEEP was recently published in the British Medical Journal. Positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) is considered to be beneficial when ventilating preterm newborns. The aim of Thallinger's study was to determine whether inexperienced providers were able to generate PEEP during simulated neonatal ventilation. Her study showed that inexperienced participants were successfully able to generate PEEP with a novel silicone PEEP valve attached to an upright self-inflating bag, without an external gas source. Read the full publication here.

Safer Births researchers gathered in Stavanger

Twenty researchers from different parts of the world are now engaged in Safer Births. They represent disciplines like neonatology, obstetrics, nursing, mathematics, statistics, physics, human factor and engineering. Before Easter they gathered in Stavanger to present their projects and latest findings to the Safer Births group.  

Study on the Upright Bag and Mask Published

Dr. Monica Thallinger has recently published her research comparing Upright with a traditional bag-mask resuscitator. The study compared ventilation properties and used preference between the new Upright Bag and Mask with a standard Laerdal Newborn Resuscitator. Tanzanian nursing school students and Norwegian Medical students with no prior experience in Newborn resuscitation used the devices on a manikin with ventilation parameters monitored by the Laerdal Newborn Resuscitation Monitor. The study showed that Upright had a lower mask leakage than the standard bag and that it was preferred by the study participants.  

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