Use of a respiratory function monitor to improve training efficiency in neonatal face mask ventilation

Research Opportunity
Honours students
Number of Honour Places Available
Department / Centre
Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Royal Women’s Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr MD PhD Marta Thio 0450886176 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Kate Hodgson 0407567360

Summary Face-mask ventilation is the most frequent and important intervention clinicians provide in newborn resuscitation. This skill is difficult to master, mainly due to inadvertent mask leak. This randomised control trial will analyse the benefit of using a Respiratory Function Monitor (RFM), which provides feedback on mask leak and tidal volume, to improve clinicians’ self-learning efficiency in face-mask ventilation.

Project Details

A critical intervention in newborn resuscitation is the provision of safe and effective positive pressure ventilation using a face mask. The effectiveness of mask ventilation is compromised by a large or variable leak around the mask (reported as 4-65% in neonatal mannequin studies and around 30% in preterm infants) or airway obstruction. Mask ventilation is therefore an essential skill taught in neonatal resuscitation training programs but is difficult to master and maintain.
Respiratory Function Monitors (RFM) are used to determine the effectiveness of newborn ventilation. There is some evidence that using continuous feedback from a respiratory function monitor (Figure 1) during training can help trainees reduce face-mask leak (1). However, there is very limited evidence on what are the best strategies to improve overall effectiveness of training in neonatal resuscitation, and how useful feedback from RFM can be for trainees’ effective self-learning. This is particularly important during times of pandemic, where face-to-face training is compromised.
In this randomised control trial clinicians from a single tertiary centre will undertake face-mask ventilation training divided in two groups: one group will have monthly self-directed training using the feedback from the RFM, whereas the other will undergo the same training without that feedback. Both groups will be assessed at the beginning and at the end of 6 month training time to assess the benefit of using the RFM in reducing mask leak and improving tidal volume delivery.

Figure 1

  1. O'Currain E, Thio M, Dawson JA, Donath SM, Davis PG. Respiratory monitors to teach newborn facemask ventilation: a randomised trial.Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2019 Nov;104(6):F582-F586. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2018-316118.

Faculty Research Themes

Child Health

School Research Themes

Child Health in Medicine

Research Opportunities

Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre

Obstetrics and Gynaecology

Research Group / Unit / Centre

Newborn Research Centre

Research Node

Royal Women’s Hospital

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