Neonatal resuscitation chart

Author(s): Dr Frankie Dormon and Dr Kirsty Wright

In partnership with Mercy ships

Correspondence: Frankie Dormon [email protected]


This chart is designed with the ‘Helping Babies Breath’ training in mind.  However, it incorporates external cardiac massage, which can be effective in some cases.  We have used the same colour coding: Green for ‘Good’, Orange for ‘Be prepared and ready to act’, and Red for ‘Danger, call for help’.  

To effectively resuscitate a newborn, there must be a warm dry cloth to dry and stimulate the baby first, and a suitable baby mask and ventilation bag.  Suction is rarely required and oxygen very rarely needed.  Time is most important. If a newborn is not gasping after 10 minutes, the chances of a good outcome without a neonatal intensive care unit are very small.

This chart has been used very successfully in training over 120 midwives in Cameroon and Benin.  I am very grateful to the staff of Mercy Ships who have helped in its development.

See also the film on neonatal resuscitation made by Medical Aid Films, which is a useful adjunct to this chart.