“Sixty seconds can mean the difference between life and death for
a newborn who isn’t breathing. That’s the window of time a health provider has
for resuscitation before a baby suffers injury from lack of oxygen. We call it
the Golden Minute.”
Susan Niermeyer, MD, MPH, FAAP, Professor of
Pediatrics and Senior Investigator at the Center for Global Health
Addressing a Critical Need
The WHO estimates that one million babies die each year in
developing countries without medical assistance from birth asphyxia (e.g.,
inability to breathe immediately after delivery).
The initial steps taught in Helping Babies Breathe® (HBB) can save lives
and give a much better start to many babies who struggle to breathe at birth.
The focus is to meet the needs of every baby born. The Center has co-hosted
annual HBB training courses in Colorado and has facilitated trainings at the
Guatemala Trifinio site as well as the regional hospital in Coatepeque. Center
faculty assists the Global Development Alliance (GDA), to conduct trainings
throughout the world.
Helping Babies Breathe® trains birth
attendants to use just a few simple tools and techniques to assess a newborn in
the first “golden minute” of life to determine if the baby is breathing well.
The aim of the program is to teach birth assistants, skilled and unskilled, to meet
the needs of every baby born.
Supported by the Helping Babies
Breathe® Global Development Alliance (GDA), the program has, in only three
years, been introduced in more than 73 countries. More than 200,000 birth
attendants have been trained and equipped. It has been associated with a
sustained 47 percent reduction in early neonatal mortality within 24 hours and
a 24 percent reduction in stillbirths after 2 years.