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To the Editor:—The paper by Auld et al., "Responsiveness and Resuscitation of the Newborn" published in your June issue, contains a dangerous implication that could cost the lives of hundreds of newborn babies. Since none of the severely depressed infants who survived were intubated and 8 did not even receive additional oxygen, it is strongly inferred that active resuscitation of such infants is not necessary. Although this suggestion is indirect, its practical impact is magnified due to the respect commanded by the opinions of Dr. Smith.
Out of 30 infants who died, the authors consider that 5 might have been saved by earlier effective resuscitation. In the remaining 25, only 3 had lesions incompatible with life (gross immaturity, renal agenesis, adrenal hypoplasia). This leaves 22, 15 of whom had hyaline membranes, 3 pneumonia, 3 erythroblastosis, and 1 an autopsy diagnosis of immaturity. In view of our ignorance of both
PAPPER EM, MOYA F, JAMES LS. RESUSCITATION OF NEWBORNS. Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(2):195-196. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020201017