Nursing On the Cutting Edge of Neonatal Resuscitation Research

Sep 15, 2017

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Intubation, the process of inserting a tube (endotracheal tube) through the mouth and then into the airway. This is done so that a patient can be placed on a ventilator to assist with breathing during anesthesia, sedation, or severe illness. All neonates require intubation at birth.

With approximately 400,000 neonates born each year in the U.S., it is crucial that all medical personnel involved in caring for these babies realize that this lifesaving procedure can cause life threatening  damage if performed improperly. Special care must be taken while intubating a neonate, or infant, due to the small size of their trachea. Using too much force or torque can lead to injury, which can then lead to longer hospital stays. 

Dr. Paula McWilliam and Instructor Narra Martineau of the Franklin Pierce University Nursing Department made it their mission to study resuscitation and the causes, effects and prevention of airway trauma secondary to endotracheal intubation. This is all thanks to an IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence Award (INBRE) they received in July of 2017.

The research study took place at the Geisel School of Medicine Laboratory at Dartmouth Medical School and provided Rayann Gionet, a Franklin Pierce undergraduate nursing student an experiential learning opportunity in biomedical technology devices and data analysis. In addition, they have been invited to Stanford University to conduct further research on neonatal intubation in September of 2017, and Rayann will be joining both Dr. McWilliam and Intructor Martineau as a research assistant to this study. This additional opportunity was made possible through the Franklin Pierce University Provost Travel Grant.