Karen Klemp and Nancy Comello also teamed up to teach the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Helping Babies Breathe program for the first time in Tanzania in January 2014. Both were instructed in the program by Dr. Julie Kessel and are certified Helping Babies Breathe Master Trainers.
A key component of the Helping Babies Breathe program is teaching a person to recognize newborns who are having difficulty breathing at the time of birth and taking appropriate action to help the baby start breathing.
“One of the real crucial points is the Golden Minute, which is the first minute following birth,” Karen Klemp explained. “It is really important that the birth attendant or the midwife or the nurse or whoever is assisting with the delivery of the baby knows that the baby needs to be supported temperature-wise, is stimulated to breathe and there is assisted ventilation as needed. And that all happens within the first minute of life, which is called the Golden Minute.”
As part of Helping Babies Breathe, Karen Klemp and Nancy Comello taught the Tanzanians gathered how to suction a baby’s mouth if there was too much mucus and how to give breaths, as well as how to use a bulb syringe and a mask.
“If the baby is not breathing, typically many of them are assumed to not be alive,” Karen Klemp explained, adding that skills such as stimulating the baby, clearing the mouth of mucus and giving breaths were new concepts for many in attendance.