Objective: Emergency medical service (EMS) is responsible for prehospital care encompassing all ages, irrespective of injury cause or medical condition, which includes peripartum emergencies. When patients require care more advanced than the level provided by the national EMS protocol, an EMS physician-staffed Dutch helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) may be dispatched. In the Netherlands in 2016, there were 21.434 planned home births guided by midwives alone without further obstetric assistance, accounting for 12.7% of all births that year. However, there are no clear data available thus far regarding neonates requiring emergency care with or without HEMS assistance. This article reviews neonates during our study period who received medical care after birth by HEMS. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed including neonates born on the day of the dispatch between January 2012 and December 2017 who received additional medical care from the Rotterdam HEMS. Results: Fifty-two neonates received medical care by HEMS. The majority (73.1%) were full-term (Gestational age > 37 weeks). Home delivery was intended in 63.5%, 20% of whom experienced an uncomplicated delivery but had a poor start of life. The majority of unplanned deliveries (n = 17) were preterm (70.6%). Two were born by resuscitative hysterotomy; 1 survived in good neurologic condition, and the other died at the scene. Fifteen neonates (28.9%) required cardiopulmonary resuscitation; in 2 cases, no resuscitation was started on medical grounds, and 12 of the other 13 resuscitated neonates regained return of spontaneous circulation. In 33 (63.5%) of the neonates, respiratory interventions were required; 8 (15.4%) were intubated before transport. Death was confirmed in 5 (9.6%) neonates, all preterm. Conclusion: During the study period, 52 neonates required medical assistance by HEMS. The 5 infants who died were all preterm. In this cohort, adequate basic life support was implemented immediately after birth either by the attending midwife, EMS, or HEMS on arrival. This suggests that prehospital first responders know the basic skills of neonatal life support.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.amj.2020.08.002, hdl.handle.net/1765/129755
Journal Air Medical Journal
Oude Alink, M.B. (Michelle B.), Moors, X.R.J. (Xavier R.J.), de Jonge, R.C.J, den Hartog, D, Houmes, R.J. (Robert Jan), & Stolker, R.J. (2020). Prehospital Management of Peripartum Neonatal Complications by Helicopter Emergency Medical Service in the South West of the Netherlands: An Observational Study. Air Medical Journal. doi:10.1016/j.amj.2020.08.002