Outcomes of Neonatal Resuscitation With and Without an Intact Umbilical Cord: A Meta-Analysis

Cureus. 2023 Aug 31;15(8):e44449. doi: 10.7759/cureus.44449. eCollection 2023 Aug.


Around the world, very few babies require a more intensive resuscitative effort for stabilization. The optimal timing of an intact umbilical cord to help with resuscitation is controversial. Our objective in the review is to compare the outcomes of neonatal resuscitation with and without an intact umbilical cord. A search of six electronic database libraries was explored for data released between 2014 and 2023. A manual search of secondary references in relevant studies was also performed. Studies focused only on randomized controlled trials comparing the outcomes of neonatal resuscitation with and without an intact umbilical cord at any gestational age. Two reviewers retrieved data for relevant outcomes and independently evaluated trial quality and eligibility. Mortality rate and APGAR (appearance, pulse, grimace, activity, and respiration) scores were noted as common in the two studies. Four randomized control trials were assessed for the impact of delayed cord clamping on neonates. One study focused on neurodevelopmental outcomes and noted significant improvement. Other studies noted delayed clamping as beneficial for improving oxygen saturation, APGAR score, and mortality rate. The meta-analysis included three controlled trials with a total of 528 babies and tested the effects of clamping the umbilical cord either late (n = 264) or early (n = 264). The heterogeneity of mortality and APGAR score at 5 minutes were not significant, which may be because only two studies of each case were available to compare. We concluded that very few studies are available to identify a significant impact of delayed cord clamping in neonates. However, delayed clamping for up to 5 minutes is noted as beneficial to the newborn.

Keywords: apgar score; meta analysis; neonatal resuscitation; neonates; umbilical cord.

Publication types

  • Review