Effectiveness of Delayed Cord Clamping in Reducing Postdelivery Complications in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review

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Abstract

This systematic review evaluates the effectiveness of delayed cord clamping in preterm infants on reducing postdelivery complications of anemia, hemodynamic instability, and the development of intraventricular hemorrhages. Interventions included varying durations of delayed cord clamping with and without cord milking as compared with immediate cord clamping, shorter delays in cord clamping, and delayed cord clamping without cord milking. A comprehensive search of randomized controlled trials, observational, cohort, and before-after studies was conducted between 1946 and 2015 in the electronic databases of Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, and Google Scholar. Studies were critically appraised using the Critical Appraisal Skills Program guidelines. Twenty-seven studies were included in the review from 1997 to 2015 from varying countries. Outcome measures included hematocrit/hemoglobin levels, measured or calculated blood volumes levels, number and volume of blood transfusions, presence of hypotension and need for treatment, and development of intraventricular hemorrhage. Delayed cord clamping can lead to improved outcomes measures in preterm infants. This review supports the current recommendation to perform delayed cord clamping during preterm deliveries.

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