Birth is a time of great risk for death: an estimated 717,000 newborns die each year during birth, and an additional 1.2 million stillbirths result from birth-related complications. In addition, a significant proportion of the world’s 287,000 annual maternal deaths occur during childbirth.
Emergencies during childbirth and poor fetal oxygenation commonly contribute to stillbirth and neonatal deaths, as well as to long-term neurologic disabilities, including mental impairment and cerebral palsy.
Every skilled birth attendant should be able to perform interventions that prevent asphyxia and to resuscitate a non-breathing baby; however, the level of professional expertise among birth attendants in performing these interventions varies widely, even in large public hospitals in cities.The availability of resuscitation equipment, including suction and bag and mask devices, presents an additional challenge for combating asphyxia. There is a global effort to improvement providers’ resuscitation skills and ensure that health facilities are equipped to manage birth asphyxia in timely manner.
Photo: Colin Crowley/Save the Children
Complications During Childbirth Briefer
Learn more about identifying and managing newborn complications during childbirth, which an esitimated 717,000 newborns die from each year.
Also included are sections on Helping Babies Breathe and the WHO's Essential Newborn Care Course for health worker traning.