Impact of simulation on multidisciplinary NICU teamwork during delivery and transport of extremely preterm infants

Abstract: BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Multidisciplinary teamwork during delivery room (DR) resuscitation and timely transport to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) can reduce morbidity and mortality for infants born Extremely Preterm (EP). We aimed to assess the impact of a multidisciplinary high-fidelity simulation curriculum on teamwork during resuscitation and transport of EP infants. METHODS: In a prospective study conducted at a Level III academic center, seven teams (each consisting of one NICU fellow, two NICU nurses, and one respiratory therapist) performed three high-fidelity simulation scenarios. Videotaped scenarios were graded by three independent raters using the Clinical Teamwork Scale (CTS). Times of completion of key resuscitation and transport tasks were recorded. Pre- and post- intervention surveys were obtained. RESULTS: Overall, time of completion of key resuscitation and transport tasks decreased, with significant decreases in the time to attach the pulse oximeter, transfer of the infant to the transport isolette, and exit the DR. There was no significant difference in CTS scores from Scenario 1 to 3. Scenarios led by first-year fellows showed a trend towards improvement in all CTS categories. A comparison of teamwork scores pre- and post-simulation curriculum during direct observation of high-risk deliveries in real time revealed a significant increase in each CTS category. CONCLUSION: A high-fidelity teamwork-based simulation curriculum decreased time to complete key clinical tasks in the resuscitation and transport of EP infants, with a trend towards increased teamwork in scenarios led by junior fellows. There was improvement of teamwork scores during high-risk deliveries on pre-post curriculum assessment.

*Corresponding Author: 

Ramya Natarajan, MD. Hackensack University Medical Center - Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, 30 Prospect Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, USA. Tel.: +1 551 996 5362; Fax: +1 551 996 3232; E-mail: