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Sodium Bicarbonate in Neonatal Resuscitation

Posted on June 6, 2013

If a baby is born with difficulty breathing, severe respiratory depression and is cyanotic (blue) sometimes sodium bicarbonate can be used to help reverse the acidity that is in the baby’s blood, helping them to breathe.

However, health practitioners must be careful when administering sodium bicarbonate because upon administration it turns into carbon dioxide. The infant must be in a properly ventilated state. Otherwise, there could be an overload of carbon dioxide. Doctors usually recommend using sodium bicarbonate only when the infant’s blood pH is extremely low.

There are many different groups in the United States and internationally who have developed guidelines and instructions on neonatal resuscitation. The Pediatric Working Group of the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation and the Neonatal Resuscitation Program Steering Committee define “neonate” as an infant during the first 28 days of life. The groups recommend using sodium bicarbonate as a last resort option because of the risks associated with a lack of poor ventilation while administering that can lead to cerebral injuries and other defects.

Do you have questions about the use of sodium bicarbonate in neonatal resuscitation, or a Philadelphia birth injury that you fear may be related to malpractice? Contact us today.