Date of Original Version
A newborn who receives a placental transfusion at birth from delayed cord clamping (DCC) obtains about 30% more blood volume than those with immediate cord clamping (ICC). Benefits for term neonates include higher hemoglobin levels, less iron deficiency in infancy, improved myelination out to 12 months, and better motor and social development at 4 years of age especially in boys. For preterm infants, benefits include less intraventricular hemorrhage, fewer gastrointestinal issues, lower transfusion requirements, and less mortality in the neonatal intensive care unit by 30%. Ventilation before clamping the umbilical cord can reduce large swings in cardiovascular function and help to stabilize the neonate. Hypovolemia, often associated with nuchal cord or shoulder dystocia, may lead to an inflammatory cascade and subsequent ischemic injury. A sudden unexpected neonatal asystole at birth may occur from severe hypovolemia. The restoration of blood volume is an important action to protect the hearts and brains of neonates. Currently, protocols for resuscitation call for ICC. However, receiving an adequate blood volume via placental transfusion may be protective for distressed neonates as it prevents hypovolemia and supports optimal perfusion to all organs. Bringing the resuscitation to the mother’s bedside is a novel concept and supports an intact umbilical cord. When one cannot wait, cord milking several times can be done quickly within the resuscitation guidelines. Cord blood gases can be collected with optimal cord management.
Conclusion: Adopting a policy for resuscitation with an intact cord in a hospital setting takes a coordinated effort and requires teamwork by obstetrics, pediatrics, midwifery, and nursing.
Publication Title, e.g., Journal
European Journal of Pediatrics
Rabe, H., Mercer, J. & Erickson-Owens, D. What does the evidence tell us? Revisiting optimal cord management at the time of birth. Eur J Pediatr 181, 1797–1807 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-022-04395-x
Available at: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-022-04395-x
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