Aims: The aims of this study were to describe the use of naloxone during neonatal resuscitation in Australia, and to assess this against the published guidelines for use.
Methods: The states of Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory record the administration of naloxone in their statutory state perinatal database collections, covering all deliveries within each state. Relevant information was extracted from these databases. In addition, we interrogated the perinatal database from a single tertiary perinatal centre in Western Australia and conducted a chart review of the 100 most recent infants identified as receiving naloxone.
Results: A total of 531 058 liveborn infants from 1994 through 2004 were assessed. The administration of naloxone fell from 4% to 1% of liveborn infants during this period. There was inconsistent compliance with published guidelines. Forty-two per cent of infants received naloxone without documentation of prior ventilatory support, 14% of infants received naloxone without prior administration of maternal narcotics and 80% of infants were not monitored following naloxone administration. The prevalent route of administration was intramuscular.
Conclusions: Despite a steady decrease in the use of naloxone for neonatal resuscitation, there is a considerable lack of compliance with published guidelines for use. Given the scant evidence supporting naloxone use during neonatal resuscitation and increasing documentation of potential deleterious effects, perhaps it is time to remove naloxone from our resuscitaires.