Feasibility of pulse oximetry for assessment of infants born in community based midwifery care

M. Smit, A. Ganzeboom, J.A. Dawson, F.J. Walther, J. Bustraan, Jos van Roosmalen, A.B. te Pas

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    To evaluate the feasibility of using pulse oximetry (PO) for evaluating infants born in community-based midwifery care. Design: a prospective, observational study of infants born after midwifery supervised (home) births. Setting: 27 midwives from seven practices providing primary care in (home) births used PO at birth or the early puerperal period over a ten-month period. Data were obtained on the effect of PO on outcome, interventions and decision-making. Midwives were surveyed about applicability and usefulness of PO. Participants: 153 infants born in primary midwifery care. Findings: all births were uncomplicated except for one infant receiving supplemental oxygen and another was mask ventilated. In 138/153 (90%) infants PO was successfully used and 88% of midwives found PO easy to use. In 148/153 (97%) infants PO did not influence midwives' clinical judgment and referral policy. In 5/153 (3%) infants, midwives were uncertain of the infant's condition, but PO measurements were reassuring. In case of suboptimal neonatal condition or resuscitation, 100% of midwives declared they would use PO again. Key conclusions: it is feasible to use PO in community based midwifery care, but not considered an important contribution to routine evaluation of infants. Midwives would like to have PO available during suboptimal neonatal condition or when resuscitation is required. Implications for practice: PO can be applied in community based midwifery care; it does not lead to insecurity or extra referral. Further research on a larger group of infants must show the effect of PO on neonatal outcomes. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)539-543
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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