[Impact of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on extremely low birth weight infants]

A Ma Sánchez-Torres, A García-Alix, F Cabañas, Ma D Elorza, R Madero, J Pérez, J Quero
Anales de Pediatría: Publicación Oficial de la Asociación Española de Pediatría (A.E.P.) 2007, 66 (1): 38-44

OBJECTIVE: To examine whether extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants who undergo Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) in the delivery room present poorer survival and greater short-term neurological and general morbidity than those who do not.

METHODS: In a retrospective cohort of 150 ELBW infants born at our hospital between 2000 and 2004, those who needed CPR and those who did not were compared for mortality and short-term general and neurological morbidity. Infants with major birth defects, suspicion of genetic disease and those without a proactive perinatal attitude in the delivery room were excluded. CPR was defined as the administration of chest compressions and/or epinephrine in the delivery room.

RESULTS: 150 infants were included, with gestational ages of 23-27 weeks (mean 25.6+/-1.2), birth weight of 425-995 grams (mean 745.2+/-132). Delivery room CPR was given to 32 infants (21.4%). No differences in perinatal characteristics were found except for lower pH and Apgar score and a higher SNAPPE score in infants who underwent CPR. Survival at discharge was similar (62.5% vs 76.3% for those without CPR). Infants who received CPR needed more surfactant, oxygen and higher median airway pressure than infants who did not. Air leaks and coagulopathy were more frequent in CPR infants (p<0.01). Prevalence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, necrotizing enterocolitis and retinopathy was similar in the two groups. No statistical differences between ELBW infants who needed CPR and those who did not were found in prevalence of intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) (62.5% vs 52.5%), IVH III (31.2% vs 17.7%), periventricular haemorrhagic infarction (PHI) (18.7% vs 11%) or cystic periventricular leucomalacia (PVL) (15.6% vs 11%). However, in a combined analysis of neurological morbidity (IVH III and/or PVL and/or PHI), significant differences between the two groups were found (46.7% vs 21.6%; p=0.01).

CONCLUSION: This study does not support poorer survival or significant non-neurological morbidity during the neonatal period in ELBW infants who receive CPR. Although the prevalence of individual neurological problems was similar in the two groups, CPR was associated with a clear increase in general neurological morbidity, with a three-times greater risk of brain damage.

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