The American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on the Fetus and Newborn, as a technical advisory committee, and the Section on Perinatal Pediatrics, representing pediatricians with a special interest in neonatology, have examined current practice and manpower needs in neonatal pediatrics. This effort has been undertaken to provide current objective information and to make recommendations regarding personnel numbers and distribution.
Advances in perinatal knowledge have resulted in major technological achievements and improved care of pathophysiologic states as well as enhanced understanding of emotional aspects of the human birthing experience. General acceptance of perinatal regionalization and formal recognition of perinatology as a subspecialty, including sub-boards of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine of the American Board of Pediatrics and Maternal-Fetal Medicine of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, have occurred in this decade. In March 1977, an ad hoc group of neonatologists, with representation from obstetrics, nursing, government, and voluntary organizations, met to quantify US neonatal manpower needs. Progress was made in conceptualizing aspects of the problem, but a consensus regarding validity of conclusions was not reached and a formal report not written. The concerns leading to and from that conference, plus later communications to the Section and Committee, emphasized an acute need for additional effort. It is not the purpose of this statement to directly address the issue of structure, content, and quality of training programs in Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine; this is a consideration of the sub-board.
NEED FOR SUBSPECIALIST
Manpower needs to care for sick infants can be estimated from different data such as total number of births; estimates of infants requiring special care, especially the low-birth-weight or prematurity rate; perinatal mortality rates; and aspects of provider services, including number of beds available for neonatal care and length of stay.
- Copyright © 1980 by the American Academy of Pediatrics