Comparison of intraosseous and intravenous epinephrine administration during resuscitation of asphyxiated newborn lambs

Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2021 Aug 30;fetalneonatal-2021-322638. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2021-322638. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: Intraosseous access is recommended as a reasonable alternative for vascular access during newborn resuscitation if umbilical access is unavailable, but there are minimal reported data in newborns. We compared intraosseous with intravenous epinephrine administration during resuscitation of severely asphyxiated lambs at birth.

Methods: Near-term lambs (139 days' gestation) were instrumented antenatally for measurement of carotid and pulmonary blood flow and systemic blood pressure. Intrapartum asphyxia was induced by umbilical cord clamping until asystole. Resuscitation commenced with positive pressure ventilation followed by chest compressions and the lambs received either intraosseous or central intravenous epinephrine (10 μg/kg); epinephrine administration was repeated every 3 min until return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). The lambs were maintained for 30 min after ROSC. Plasma epinephrine levels were measured before cord clamping, at end asphyxia, and at 3 and 15 min post-ROSC.

Results: ROSC was successful in 7 of 9 intraosseous epinephrine lambs and in 10 of 12 intravenous epinephrine lambs. The time and number of epinephrine doses required to achieve ROSC were similar between the groups, as were the achieved plasma epinephrine levels. Lambs in both groups displayed a similar marked overshoot in systemic blood pressure and carotid blood flow after ROSC. Blood gas parameters improved more quickly in the intraosseous lambs in the first 3 min, but were otherwise similar over the 30 min after ROSC.

Conclusions: Intraosseous epinephrine administration results in similar outcomes to intravenous epinephrine during resuscitation of asphyxiated newborn lambs. These findings support the inclusion of intraosseous access as a route for epinephrine administration in current guidelines.

Keywords: emergency care; neonatology; resuscitation.