Endotracheal suction in term non vigorous meconium stained neonates-A pilot study

Resuscitation. 2016 Aug;105:79-84. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.05.015. Epub 2016 May 30.


Aim: To evaluate the effect of 'No endotracheal suction' on occurrence of meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) and/or all-cause mortality in non-vigorous neonates born through meconium stained amniotic fluid (MSAF).

Methods: This pilot randomized controlled trial enrolled term non-vigorous neonates (≥37 weeks) born through MSAF. Neonates randomized to 'No Endotracheal suction group' ('No ET' Group; n=88) did not undergo endotracheal suction before the definitive steps of resuscitation. Neonates randomized to 'Endotracheal suction group' ('ET' Group; n=87) underwent tracheal suction as part of the initial steps as per the current NRP recommendations. The primary outcome was occurrence of MAS and/or death. Secondary outcome variables were duration and severity of respiratory distress, need for respiratory support, development of hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and duration of oxygen therapy and hospitalization.

Results: Baseline characters including birth weight and gestational age were similar between the two groups. MAS was present in 23 (26.1%) vs. 28 (32.2%) neonates in 'No ET' and 'ET' groups respectively (OR 0.4 (0.12-1.4); p=0.14) with 4 (4.6%) and 9 (10.34%) deaths amongst these neonates with MAS in respective groups (OR 0.75 (0.62-1.2); p=0.38). Other parameters like severity and duration of respiratory distress, need for respiratory support, incidence of HIE, duration of oxygen therapy and duration of hospitalization were comparable.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that it is feasible to randomize non-vigorous infants born through meconium stained liquor to receive on not receive endotracheal suction. There is a need for a multi-center trial to address whether the current practices and guidelines can be justified.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01758822.

Keywords: Endotracheal suction; Meconium aspiration syndrome; Meconium stained amniotic fluid; Non-vigorous neonate.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Birth Weight
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / methods*
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / mortality
  • Male
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / mortality
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / therapy*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pregnancy
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Suction / methods*

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01758822