Chest compressions and medications during neonatal resuscitation

Shalini Ramachandran, Marlies Bruckner, Vishal Kapadia, Georg M. Schmölzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prolonged resuscitation in neonates, although quite rare, may occur in response to profound intractable bradycardia as a result of asphyxia. In these instances, chest compressions and medications may be necessary to facilitate return of spontaneous circulation. While performing chest compressions, the two thumb method is preferred over the two finger technique, although several newer approaches are under investigation. While the ideal compression to ventilation ratio is still uncertain, a 3:1 ratio remains the recommendation by the Neonatal Resuscitation Program. Use of feedback mechanisms to optimize neonatal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) show promise and are currently under investigation. While performing optimal cardiac compressions to pump blood, use of medications to restore spontaneous circulation will likely be necessary. Current recommendations are that epinephrine, an endogenous catecholamine be used preferably intravenously or by intraosseous route, with the dose repeated every 3-5 minutes until return of spontaneous circulation. Finally, while the need for volume replacement is rare, it may be considered in instances of acute blood loss or poor response to resuscitation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151624
JournalSeminars in Perinatology
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Chest compressions
  • Compression: Ventilation ratio
  • Epinephrine
  • Feedback mechanisms
  • Neonatal resuscitation
  • Vasopressin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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