COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Immediate compared with delayed cord clamping in the preterm neonate: a randomized controlled trial

Andrew Elimian, Jean Goodman, Marilyn Escobedo, Lydia Nightingale, Eric Knudtson, Marvin Williams
Obstetrics and Gynecology 2014, 124 (6): 1075-9
25415157

OBJECTIVE: The comparative risks and benefits of early compared with delayed cord clamping in the preterm neonate remain unclear. Our objective was to evaluate the short-term effects of delayed clamping of the umbilical cord in preterm neonates.

METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled trial comparing immediate with delayed cord clamping among preterm neonates born between 24 and 34 weeks of gestation. The primary study outcome was the need for blood transfusion. To detect a 33% reduction in this outcome (from 65 to 43.5%) with a two-tailed α of 0.5 and β of 0.8 required 178 patients equally divided into two groups.

RESULTS: A total of 200 women were randomized, 99 to the delayed and 101 to the immediate clamp group. The groups were similar with respect to baseline characteristics. The mean gestational age at delivery was 30.8±3.1 weeks in the delayed compared with 30.7±2.8 weeks in the immediate clamp group (P=.64). There was no statistically significant difference between groups with regard to the need for blood transfusion: 25 of 99 (25.3%) in the delayed cord clamp group received one or more blood transfusion compared with 24 of 101 (23.7%) in the immediate clamp group (P=.8). The rates of various neonatal outcomes including respiratory distress syndrome, periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis, anemia of prematurity, and neonatal morality did not differ significantly between the groups. However, the mean initial hemoglobin (17.4±2.5 compared with 16.3±2.3 g/dL, P=.001) and hematocrit (51.3±7.3 compared with 47.4±7.3, P=.001) was significantly higher in the delayed group. In the delayed clamp group, 11.1% (11/99) of neonates had intraventricular hemorrhage compared with 19.8% (20/101) in the immediate clamp group (P=.09).

CONCLUSION: Delayed cord clamping for 30 seconds did not decrease the need for blood transfusion among preterm neonates.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00579839.

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