Delivery room resuscitation and adverse outcomes among very low birth weight preterm infants

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To evaluate risk factors and impact of delivery room cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DR-CPR) on very low birth weight (VLBW) preterm infants.


A national, population-based, observational study evaluating risk factors and short-term neonatal outcomes associated with DR-CPR among VLBW, extremely preterm infants (EPIs, 24 to 27 weeks’ gestation) and very preterm infants (VPI, 28 to 31 weeks’ gestation) born in 1995 to 2010.


Among 17 564 VLBW infants, 636 (3.6%) required DR-CPR. In the group of 6478 EPI, 412 (6.4%) received DR-CPR compared with 224 of 11 086 infants (2.0%) in the VPI group. EPI who underwent DR-CPR had higher odds ratios (ORs (95% confidence interval)) for mortality compared to EPI not requiring DR-CPR (OR 3.32 (2.58, 4.29)), grades 3 to 4 intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (OR 1.59 (1.20, 2.10)) and periventricular leukomalacia (OR 1.81 (1.17, 2.82)). DR-CPR among VPI was associated with higher ORs for mortality (OR 4.99 (3.59, 6.94)), early sepsis (OR 2.07 (1.05, 4.09)), grades 3 to 4 IVH (OR 3.74 (2.55, 5.50)) and grades 3 to 4 retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) (OR 2.53 (1.18, 5.41)) compared to VPI not requiring DR-CPR. Only 11% of infants in the EPI DR-CPR group had favorable outcomes compared with 44% in the VPI DR-CPR group. Significantly higher ORs for mortality, IVH and ROP were found in the VPI compared to the EPI group.


Preterm VLBW infants requiring DR-CPR were at increased risk of adverse outcomes compared to those not requiring CPR. This effect was more pronounced in the VPI group.

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