Umbilical Lactate as a Measure of Acidosis and Predictor of Neonatal Risk: A Systematic Review

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(BJOG 2017;124:584–594)

Testing for acidosis at all deliveries is advocated by some as an early and effective way to identify infants at risk for a range of adverse neonatal outcomes. A low umbilical artery potential of hydrogen (pH) has been associated with poor outcomes such as cerebral palsy, encephalopathy, and death. While acidosis is not the direct cause of these negative outcomes and most acidotic newborns suffer no adverse effects, knowledge of the presence of the acidosis may allow clinicians to alter their treatment in an attempt to improve outcomes.

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