Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the outcomes of infants who had Apgar scores of zero at 10 minutes and were resuscitated successfully.
Study design: The literature was reviewed systematically to identify the outcomes of cases; in addition, the perinatal database at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, was used to identify similar cases. Eligible infants were identified through hospital records, and outcomes of all infants with an Apgar score of zero at 10 minutes, who were born between January 1991 and December 2004, were reviewed.
Results: Eighty-five cases were identified from the literature. With the Oxford database, 9 of 83,065 infants (0.12/1000 births) met our study criteria. Six of the 9 infants died before leaving hospital. One infant with severe quadriparesis and microcephaly died at 11 months of age. One infant at follow-up examination at 5 years had severe spastic quadriparesis with severe global delay. One infant with grade 2 hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, who was born with severe anemia that was corrected promptly at birth, had mild disability at follow-up examination at 2 years. Thus, death or severe disability occurred in 8 of 9 infants. Combining the results of metaanalysis of published data with our results of 94 infants, 88 infants (94%) either died or were handicapped severely; 2 infants (2%) were handicapped moderately, and 1 infant (1%) was handicapped mildly. For 3 infants (3%), the long-term outcome could not be determined.
Conclusion: The outcome of infants with an Apgar score of zero at 10 minutes is almost universally poor.