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S.T.A.B.L.E. Program Modules

What is S.T.A.B.L.E.?

Based on a mnemonic to optimize learning, retention and recall of information, S.T.A.B.L.E. stands for the six assessment and care modules in the program: Sugar, Temperature, Airway, Blood pressure, Lab work, and Emotional support. A 7th module, Quality Improvement, stresses communication and teamwork as well as the professional responsibility of evaluating care provided to sick infants, with the ultimate goal of improving future care.

First introduced in 1996 in the US and Canada, S.T.A.B.L.E. has grown internationally to include instructor training and courses in more than 45 countries. Currently, there are more than

The S.T.A.B.L.E. Mnemonic

Healthy infants far outnumber those who are sick. Therefore, in some settings, caregivers may have difficulty remembering what to do for the sick infant. The mnemonic “S.T.A.B.L.E.” was created to assist with the recall and retention of information and to standardize and organize care in the post-resuscitation/ pre-transport stabilization period. 

S stands for SUGAR

This module contains care recommendations that outline actions to take when an infant is sick and cannot tolerate enteral feedings. The initial intravenous (IV) therapy and how to monitor for and treat hypoglycemia are explained in detail. Infants at-risk for hypoglycemia but who are healthy enough to tolerate enteral feedings also discussed. Indications for and safe use of umbilical catheters are also discussed.

T stands for TEMPERATURE

This module reviews the special thermal needs of infants, including those at increased risk for hypothermia, how body heat is lost and how to reduce heat loss, the consequences of hypothermia, and precautions about how to rewarm hypothermic infants.

A stands for AIRWAY

This module reviews the evaluation of respiratory distress, common neonatal respiratory diseases, airway challenges, detection and treatment of a pneumothorax, blood gas interpretation, signs of respiratory failure, and when to initiate and/or increase the level of respiratory support.


This module reviews the four major causes of shock in infants: hypovolemic, obstructive, cardiogenic, and septic shock, and how to assess and treat shock.

L stands for LAB WORK

This module focuses primarily on neonatal infection: maternal and neonatal risk factors, clinical signs, laboratory tests to obtain, and the initial antibiotic treatment for suspected infection.


This module reviews the emotional crisis surrounding the birth of a sick infant and how to support families when their infant needs intensive care.


A 7th module, Quality Improvement completes the course to discuss methods to improve patient safety and the importance of effective communication and teamwork. Providing safe quality care and eliminating preventable errors is a top priority of the S.T.A.B.L.E. Program curriculum.