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Building Evidence for Practice: A Pilot Study of Newborn Bulb Suctioning at Birth

Authors

  • Patricia A. Waltman CNNP, EdD,

    Corresponding author
      Patricia A. Waltman, CNNP, EdD, University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing, 2500 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505. E-mail: pwaltman@son.umsmed.edu
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    • Patricia A. Waltman, EdD, RN, CNNP, is an Associate Professor and Assistant Dean for the Undergraduate Program at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing and a certified neonatal nurse practitioner at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS.

  • Joyce M. Brewer CNM, MSN,

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    • Joyce M. Brewer, CNM, MSN, CFNP, is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing and a certified nurse-midwife and certified family nurse practitioner at the UNACARE Health Center in midtown Jackson, MS.

  • Barbara P. Rogers RN, PhD,

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    • Barbara Rogers, RN, PhD, is a Professor of Nursing at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing in Jackson, MS.

  • Warren L. May PhD

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    • Warren L. May, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Preventative Medicine, School of Medicine at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson, MS.


Patricia A. Waltman, CNNP, EdD, University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Nursing, 2500 N. State Street, Jackson, MS 39216-4505. E-mail: pwaltman@son.umsmed.edu

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the effects of bulb suctioning on healthy, term newborns and the feasibility of conducting a large-scale study of this practice. In a randomized, controlled two-group design pilot study, 10 newborns received oronasopharyngeal bulb suctioning at birth and 10 did not. Differences in Apgar scores, heart rates, and oxygen saturation levels were determined. Infants were randomized to groups before delivery. The participants were 20 term, healthy newborns of uncomplicated pregnancies. Apgar scores, heart rates, and oxygen saturation levels in the first 20 minutes of life were the main outcome variables. There were no statistically significant differences in Apgar scores between groups. Apgar scores at 5 and 10 minutes were 9 or 10 for all newborns. Newborns receiving bulb suctioning showed a statistically significant, lower heart rate (P = .042) during the first 20 minutes and a significantly higher SpO2 level (P = .005) by 15 minutes of age. Although statistically significant, these findings were not considered clinically significant because values remained within normal parameters.

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