Introduction: Our hypothesis was that delayed cord clamping (DCC) (not earlier than 30 s; at 30-60 s) in premature neonates (born between 26.0 and 32.6 weeks of gestation), as compared with the usual early cord clamping (ECC), significantly reduces the need for blood transfusions and incidence of intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) without an increased rate of maternal postpartum haemorrhage.
Material and methods: A prospective, open-label, randomized, controlled trial was conducted at Vall d'Hebron Hospital from July 2014 to December 2018. All pregnant women at risk of impending preterm birth (≥26.0-<33.0 weeks of gestation) who were admitted to the obstetrics emergency department were evaluated for eligibility. If they met the eligibility criteria, they were invited to participate in the study and, if they agreed, they signed an informed consent. Patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups: ECC group and DCC group.
Results: Our study included a total of 57 patients: 30 in the ECC group and 27 in the DCC group. Due to a lack of funding and low recruitment rates, the study was discontinued in 2018. Maternal characteristics and obstetric outcomes were similar between both groups. The intention-to-treat analysis did not reveal any differences between groups for neonatal red blood cell transfusions, neonatal IVH or maternal postpartum haemorrhage. There were no differences for secondary outcomes. Similarly, no differences were observed in the as-treated analysis.
Conclusion: The primary and secondary outcomes of our study were not achieved. Therefore, more meta-analysis and trials are needed to evaluate the appropriate timing of cord clamping in preterm birth.
Keywords: Delayed cord clamping; Early cord clamping; Intraventricular haemorrhage; Maternal postpartum haemorrhage; Neonatal transfusions; Preterm birth; Preterm neonates; Umbilical cord clamping.
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