Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a severe birth anomaly where a defect in the diaphragm allows abdominal organs to herniate into the chest with compression of the intrathoracic structures, specifically the lungs and heart. Pulmonary and left ventricular hypoplasia result in respiratory insufficiency after birth with disordered transition and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). As a result, infants need immediate intervention after birth to support the transition. Delayed cord clamping (DCC) is recommended for all healthy newborns and improves outcomes in infants born preterm and in infants with congenital heart disease; however, DCC may not be feasible in newborns needing immediate intervention after birth. Recent studies have explored resuscitation with intact umbilical cords, to determine feasibility, safety, and efficacy in infants with CDH, with promising results. In this report we discuss the physiologic basis for intact cord resuscitation in infants with CDH and review the above reports with a view to determining optimal timing of umbilical cord clamping in infants with CDH.
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