Delayed Cord Clamping Uptake and Outcomes for Infants Born Very Preterm in California

Am J Perinatol. 2022 Dec 30. doi: 10.1055/a-1975-4607. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The aim of this study is to investigate whether the purported benefits of delayed cord clamping (DCC) translate into a reduction in mortality and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) among preterm neonates in practice.

Study design: This was a prospective cohort study of very preterm infants constructed from data from the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative for infants admitted into 130 California neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) within the first 28 days of life from 2016 through 2020. Individual-level analyses were conducted using log-binomial regression models controlling for confounders and allowing for correlation within hospitals to examine the relationship of DCC to the outcomes of mortality and IVH. Hospital-level analyses were conducted using Poisson regression models with robust variance controlling for confounders.

Results: Among 13,094 very preterm infants included (5,856 with DCC and 7,220 without), DCC was associated with a 43% lower risk of mortality (adjusted risk ratio [aRR]: 0.57; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.47-0.66). Furthermore, every 10% increase in the hospital rate of DCC among preterm infants was associated with a 4% lower hospital mortality rate among preterm infants (aRR: 0.96; 95% CI: 0.96-0.99). DCC was associated with severe IVH at the individual level, but not at the hospital level.

Conclusion: At the individual level and hospital level, the use of DCC was associated with lower mortality among preterm infants admitted to NICUs in California. These findings are consistent with clinical trial results, suggesting that the effects of DCC seen in clinical trials are translating to improved survival in practice.

Key points: · DCC was associated with lower mortality among very preterm newborns in California.. · Hospitals using DCC more often had lower very preterm mortality.. · DCC was not associated with IVH at the hospital level..