Pediatric Coverage of the Delivery Room: An Analysis of Manpower Utilization

Arthur I. Eidelman*, Michael S. Schimmel, Ruben Bromiker, Cathy Hammerman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To determine the frequency and pattern of pediatric calls to the delivery room and the actual type of medical care administered to the newborn in the delivery room. STUDY DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study of 2554 births in a university-affiliated tertiary care hospital. Existing protocols required the attendance of a pediatric resident or neonatal fellow at all deliveries other than uncomplicated vaginal term births. The pediatrician's activity in the delivery room was characterized as either "medical care." or "minimal care." Results were analyzed by diagnostic category. RESULTS: Pediatricians attended 646 of the deliveries (25%). Medical care was administered in 204 of the deliveries, representing 31% of the time they were at a delivery and 8% of all deliveries. The three major indications for pediatric delivery room attendance were cesarean sections (n = 253; 39%), presence of meconium in amniotic fluid (n = 117; 18%), and vacuum deliveries (n = 117; 18%). Medical care was required only in 1 of 56 cases of elective repeat cesarean sections, in 1 of 20 cases of a cesarean section for nonprogress of labor, and in 1 of 38 cases when thin meconium was present. In contrast, medical care was needed in 52 of 81 (64%) cases of cesarean sections for fetal distress, in 11 of 11 (100%) of the cesarean sections for multiple births, and in 67 of 89 (85%) cases of thick meconium (p < 0.05). There was a need for medical attendance after the birth in less than 1% of 1908 cases for which the pediatrician was not initially called to delivery room. CONCLUSION: Because their medical skills were needed only one of three times that pediatricians were called to the delivery room, and then mostly in specific risk situations, more selective use of pediatric manpower for delivery room coverage may lead to a more efficient use of medical resources without any apparent increase in patient morbidity. (J Perinatal 1998;18: 131-4.).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1998
Externally publishedYes


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