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Childbirth (Intubation)

Volume 961: debated on Tuesday 23 January 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps have been taken by the National Health Service to ensure that all persons attending childbirth have all the equipment necessary for intubating asphyxiated newborn babies as recommended in his Department's booklet "Reducing the Risk—Safer Pregnancy and Childbirth".

I expect that all maternity hospitals in the National Health Service already to have such equipment available for hospital deliveries. With regard to all deliveries, wherever they take place, the central midwives board issued in 1968 a statement of policy on intubation to all local supervising authorities and concluded that intubation of babies was a procedure which could be taught to midwives and carried out by them in appropriate circumstances. The memorandum on maternal care by general practitioners issued in 1975 included, on the advice of the standing maternity and midwifery advisory committee, the following advice on the care of the newborn:

"It is essential therefore for the attendants including the general practitioner to be familiar with modern resuscitative techniques and they should normally have available an infant laryngoscope, endo-tracheal tubes, a bag to inflate and a mucus extractor".

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what progress has been made by the National Health Service in training all persons attending childbirth in intubation of asphyxiated newborn babies as recommended in his Department's booklet "Reducing the Risk—Safer Pregnancy and Childbirth".

With the implementation of vocational training legislation, general practitioners will be required to be suitably trained before entering general practice as principals. This training enables those who wish to practise obstetrics to obtain instruction in current techniques and procedures, including intubation. Established practitioners are encouraged to keep up to date by attending courses at post graduate centres. In 1977 there were over 5,000 attendances at courses in obstetrics and paediatrics.

HOSPITAL MEDICAL AND NURSING STAFF

For staff—obstetric, paediatric and nursing—working in consultant obstetric units, training in this technique is regarded as an integral part of their postgraduate and postregistration training.

MIDWIVES

The theoretical consideration involved in endotracheal intubation are covered in the pupil midwives' syllabus of training and suitable training aids are used for practical instruction in this procedure.