BACKGROUND: Neonatal-perinatal medicine (NPM) fellowship programs must provide adequate abstract delivery room (DR) experience to ensure that physicians can independently provide neonatal resuscitation to very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. The availability of learning opportunities is unknown. METHODS: The number of VLBW (≤1500 g) and extremely low birth weight (ELBW) (<1000 g) deliveries, uses of continuous positive airway pressure, intubation, chest compressions, and epinephrine over 3 years at accredited civilian NPM fellowship program delivery hospitals were determined from the Vermont Oxford Network from 2012 to 2017. Using Poisson distributions, we estimated the expected probabilities of fellows experiencing a given number of cases over 3 years at each program. RESULTS: Of the 94 NPM fellowships, 86 programs with 115 delivery hospitals and 62 699 VLBW deliveries (28 703 ELBW) were included. During a 3-year fellowship, the mean number of deliveries per fellow ranged from 14 to 214 (median: 60) for VLBWs and 7 to 107 (median: 27) for ELBWs. One-half of fellows were expected to see ≤23 ELBW deliveries and 52 VLBW deliveries, 24 instances of continuous positive airway pressure, 23 intubations, 2 instances of chest compressions, and 1 treatment with epinephrine. CONCLUSIONS: The number of opportunities available to fellows for managing VLBW and ELBW infants in the DR is highly variable among programs. Fellows' exposure to key, high-risk DR procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation is low at all programs. Fellowship programs should track fellow exposure to neonatal resuscitations in the DR and integrate supplemental learning opportunities. Given the low numbers, the number of new and existing NPM programs should be considered.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health