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Umbilical cord management for newborns < 34 weeks' gestation: a meta-analysis

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posted on 2023-06-09, 23:13 authored by Anna Lene Seidler, Gillian M L Gyte, Heike RabeHeike Rabe, José L Díaz-Rossello, Lelia Duley, Khalid Aziz, Daniela Testoni Costa-Nobre, Peter G Davis, Georg M Schmölzer, Colleen Ovelman, Lisa M Askie, Roger Soll
CONTEXT: The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation prioritized scientific review of umbilical cord management strategies at preterm birth. OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of umbilical cord management strategies (including timing of cord clamping and cord milking) in preterm infants <34 weeks’ gestation. DATA SOURCES: Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Medline, PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and trial registries were searched through July 2019 for randomized controlled trials assessing timing of cord clamping and/or cord milking. STUDY SELECTION: Two authors independently assessed trial eligibility, extracted data, appraised risk of bias, and assessed evidence certainty (GRADE). DATA EXTRACTION: We identified 42 randomized controlled trials (including 5772 infants) investigating 4 different comparisons of cord management interventions. RESULTS: Compared to early cord clamping, delayed cord clamping (DCC) and intact-cord milking (ICM) may slightly improve survival; however, both are compatible with no effect (DCC: risk ratio: 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 1.04, n = 2988 infants, moderate certainty evidence; ICM: risk ratio: 1.02, 95% confidence interval: 0.98 to 1.06, n = 945 infants, moderate certainty evidence). DCC and ICM both probably improve hematologic measures but may not affect major neonatal morbidities. LIMITATIONS: For many of the included comparisons and outcomes, certainty of evidence was low. Our subgroup analyses were limited by few researchers reporting subgroup data. CONCLUSIONS: DCC appears to be associated with some benefit for infants born <34 weeks. Cord milking needs further evidence to determine potential benefits or harms. The ideal cord management strategy for preterm infants is still unknown, but early clamping may be harmful.


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