Strategies for implementing placental transfusion at birth: A systematic review

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BackgroundEnhanced placental transfusion reduces adverse neonatal outcomes, including death. Despite being endorsed by the World Health Organization in 2012, the method has not been adopted widely in practice.MethodsWe performed a systematic literature search and included quality improvement projects on placental transfusion at birth and studies on barriers to implementation. We extracted information on population, methods of implementation, obstacles to implementation, and strategies to overcome them.ResultsWe screened 99 studies out of which 18 were included in the review. The preferred methods of implementation were protocol development (86% of studies) reinforced by targeted education (64% of studies) and multidisciplinary team involvement (43% of studies). Barriers to implementation were mentioned in 12 studies and divided into four categories: general factors such as lack of staff awareness (5 studies) and professional resistance to change (5 studies); obstetrician-specific concerns, including the impact during cesarean (3 studies) and the risk of postpartum hemorrhage (3 studies); pediatrician-specific concerns, including the need for resuscitation (5 studies), risk of jaundice (3 studies), and polycythemia (2 studies); and logistical difficulties. The main strategies to facilitate placental transfusion at birth included effective multidisciplinary team collaboration, protocol development, targeted education, and constructive feedback sessions.ConclusionsPlacental transfusion implementation requires a multidisciplinary approach, with obstetricians, midwives, nurses, and pediatricians central to adoption of the practice. Understanding the obstacles to implementation informs strategies to increase placental transfusion adoption of practice worldwide. We suggest a stepwise approach to implementation and enhancement of placental transfusion into practice.

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