Intended for healthcare professionals


Role of the routine neonatal examination

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 26 June 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1766

It probably makes more sense for other staff to carry out neonatal examinations

  1. David Walker, Senior house officer (
  1. Neonatal Medicine Department, Women's Centre, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU
  2. Hong Kong Baptist Hospital, 222 Waterloo Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong

    EDITOR—As a senior house officer in a neonatal unit with over 7000 births a year, I can confirm Hall's remarks that needless delays in the discharge of mothers and their babies occur due to heavy workload.1 My crude, hurriedly acquired examination skills often act as a front and do little to reassure me that all is well with the child I am examining. Inquiries about feeding, the behaviour of the child, and even the contents of the child's nappies give me greatest confidence in my clinical decision making.

    Most valuable time during neonatal checks is spent talking about educational aspects of child care and what a new mother can expect from her child in the coming weeks. I believe that medical examination can be carried out by …

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