We don't always know the impact of our work. Our efforts are often measured in years and decades. However, there are times when the work we are doing is immediately apparent. This is particularly true for our Neonatal Resuscitation Training Program and the work of Dr. Robert Gehringer, HBI Medical Director. The following is a true story provided to HBI by a midwife who attended one of our NRP trainings and working in a small coastal town in the north of Perú:
On the April 29, 2019 at approximately 5:00 pm, I was called by a local health center to inform me that a teenage patient was in active labor, with 9 cm dilation. I immediately went to the clinic to help. When I arrived, I was met by a a very anxious 17-year old pregnant patient without any prenatal controls. The patient was in active labor, and a single fetus of more or less 36-weeks was visible. The challenging part – the baby did not want to come out. A team attended the delivery, including myself and another midwife in her internship year. The delivery was rapid, with very little amniotic fluid; and, at birth, the baby was flaccid, cyanotic, and dyspneic. In other words, the baby was dying.
Thank God, the clinic had a self-inflating resuscitation bag. With the help of my colleague, we proceeded to resuscitate. After a minute with the self-inflating resuscitation bag, the baby began breathing alone, her heart rate improved and cyanosis decreased. But, after 30 seconds - she stopped breathing again. I immediately verified that she had also stopped breathing, and restarted my NRP training. I used the self-inflating bag, with positive results: and, in 30 seconds, the baby was breathing alone again. We stabilized the baby and arranged for transport to the largest regional hospital where she could be admitted to a neonatal intensive care unit.
Three weeks after the event, I met the teenage mother in a small local health-post She had her baby in her arms and she was awaiting to be seen for a check-up,. She thanked me for the attention I gave to her and her baby. She thanked me for saving her baby’s life. Without a doubt, the training I received from Health Bridges and Dr. Robert Gehringer prepared me to act in such a competent way. Thanks to HBI, I was able to save this child's life. I am forever thankful to Dr. Gehringer and HBI.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.