Delayed cord clamping in preterm infants delivered at 34–36 weeks' gestation: A randomised controlled trial

Department of Paediatrics, Deventer Hospital, Deventer, The Netherlands.
Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition (Impact Factor: 3.12). 02/2008; 93(1):F20-3. DOI: 10.1136/adc.2006.100354
Source: PubMed


Even mild iron deficiency and anaemia in infancy may be associated with cognitive deficits. A delay in clamping the cord improves haematocrit levels and results in greater vascular stability and less need for packed cell transfusions for anaemia in the first period after birth. Follow-up data on haemoglobin levels after the neonatal period were not available.
To provide neonatal and follow-up data for the effects of early or delayed clamping of the cord.
37 premature infants (gestational age 34 weeks, 0 days-36 weeks, 6 days) were randomly assigned to one of two groups in the first hour after birth, and at 10 weeks of age. In one group the umbilical cord was clamped within 30 seconds (mean (SD) 13.4 (5.6)) and in the other, it was clamped at 3 minutes after delivery. In the neonatal period blood glucose and haemoglobin levels were determined. At 10 weeks of age haemoglobin and ferritin levels were determined.
The late cord-clamped group showed consistently higher haemoglobin levels than the early cord-clamped group, both at the age of 1 hour (mean (SD) 13.4 (1.9) mmol/l vs 11.1 (1.7) mmol/l), and at 10 weeks (6.7 (0.75) mmol/l vs 6.0 (0.65) mmol/l). No relationship between delayed clamping of the umbilical cord and pathological jaundice or polycythaemia was found.
Immediate clamping of the umbilical cord should be discouraged.

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  • No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Archives of Disease in Childhood - Fetal and Neonatal Edition
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    ABSTRACT: Most neonates less than 1.0 kg birth weight need red blood cell (RBC) transfusions. Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord 1 minute after delivery transfuses the neonate with autologous placental blood to expand blood volume and provide 60 percent more RBCs than after immediate clamping. This study compared hematologic and clinical effects of delayed versus immediate cord clamping. After parental consent, neonates not more than 36 weeks' gestation were randomly assigned to cord clamping immediately or at 1 minute after delivery. The primary endpoint was an increase in RBC volume/mass, per biotin labeling, after delayed clamping. Secondary endpoints were multiple clinical and laboratory comparisons over the first 28 days including Score for Neonatal Acute Physiology (SNAP). Problems with delayed clamping techniques prevented study of neonates of less than 30 weeks' gestation, and 105 neonates 30 to 36 weeks are reported. Circulating RBC volume/mass increased (p = 0.04) and weekly hematocrit (Hct) values were higher (p < 0.005) after delayed clamping. Higher Hct values did not lead to fewer RBC transfusions (p > or = 0.70). Apgar scores after birth and daily SNAP scores were not significantly different (p > or = 0.22). Requirements for mechanical ventilation with oxygen were similar. More (p = 0.03) neonates needed phototherapy after delayed clamping, but initial bilirubin levels and extent of phototherapy did not differ. Although a 1-minute delay in cord clamping significantly increased RBC volume/mass and Hct, clinical benefits were modest. Clinically significant adverse effects were not detected. Consider a 1-minute delay in cord clamping to increase RBC volume/mass and RBC iron, for neonates 30 to 36 weeks' gestation, who do not need immediate resuscitation.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Transfusion
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    ABSTRACT: Very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) infants often require blood transfusions for anemia. Studies have investigated the preventative effect of delayed cord clamping, high-dose iron, and costly recombinant erythropoietin. As part of our unit clinical governance framework to improving patient care, we audited the effect of a preventative management guideline that combines delayed cord clamping for 30 seconds with early protein intake and early oral iron supplementation (6 mg/kg from days 7 to 10 of life, if milk feeds 60 mL/kg/d) combined with a restrictive transfusion policy in infants < 32 weeks' gestation and < 1500 g birth weight. Data on blood transfusions in VLBW infants during the first 6 weeks of life collected before the start of the new regimen (period I) were compared with data in consecutively born VLBW infants after the introduction of the management guideline (period II). Age (in days) when milk feeds and oral iron supplements were introduced was recorded. Statistical analysis used Wilcoxon signed-rank test. VLBW infants in period I ( N = 18, median birth weight 1001 g [727; 1158]) received a median of four transfusions (0.75; 9) compared with 1.5 (0.75; 5, P = 0.01) VLBW infant transfusions in period II ( N = 22, median birth weight 967 g [792; 1131]). Milk feeds of 60 mL/kg/d were achieved on median day 12 (6; to 16), and iron was introduced on median day 38 (21; to 44) in period I compared with milk feeds on day 9 (7; 15, P = 0.05) and oral iron on day 16 (11; 21, P < 0001) in period II. The combination of a 30-second delay in cord clamping, early protein and iron, and a change of transfusion thresholds reduced the number of blood transfusions by half.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · American Journal of Perinatology
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