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Fuzzy expert system in the prediction of neonatal resuscitation

Keywords: Fuzzy sets , Risk analysis , Medical expert systems , Perinatal asphyxia , Neonatal resuscitation

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Abstract:

In view of the importance of anticipating the occurrence of critical situations in medicine, we propose the use of a fuzzy expert system to predict the need for advanced neonatal resuscitation efforts in the delivery room. This system relates the maternal medical, obstetric and neonatal characteristics to the clinical conditions of the newborn, providing a risk measurement of need of advanced neonatal resuscitation measures. It is structured as a fuzzy composition developed on the basis of the subjective perception of danger of nine neonatologists facing 61 antenatal and intrapartum clinical situations which provide a degree of association with the risk of occurrence of perinatal asphyxia. The resulting relational matrix describes the association between clinical factors and risk of perinatal asphyxia. Analyzing the inputs of the presence or absence of all 61 clinical factors, the system returns the rate of risk of perinatal asphyxia as output. A prospectively collected series of 304 cases of perinatal care was analyzed to ascertain system performance. The fuzzy expert system presented a sensitivity of 76.5% and specificity of 94.8% in the identification of the need for advanced neonatal resuscitation measures, considering a cut-off value of 5 on a scale ranging from 0 to 10. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.93. The identification of risk situations plays an important role in the planning of health care. These preliminary results encourage us to develop further studies and to refine this model, which is intended to implement an auxiliary system able to help health care staff to make decisions in perinatal care.

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