Follow-up of children born with an umbilical arterial blood pH < 7

Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1995 Dec;173(6):1758-64. doi: 10.1016/0002-9378(95)90423-9.


Objective: We performed neurodevelopmental assessment in children born with an umbilical artery pH < 7.

Study design: All infants born with an umbilical artery pH < 7 from a 19-month period were retrieved from the obstetric database. Obstetric, neonatal, and pediatric records were reviewed. At an age of 1 to 3 years, children were visited at home for semi-structured questioning of the mother and a Denver Developmental Screening Test of the child.

Results: During the study period 1614 umbilical artery pH measurements were entered in the database. Thirty (1.9%) were < 7. From this group 23 infants were admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit, and 8 of them required intubation. Twenty-eight children survived the neonatal period. Three children experienced an episode of mild hypertonia. One child had a mild motor developmental delay.

Conclusion: Babies born with an umbilical artery pH < 7 are at greater risk to experience considerable short-term morbidity. Those who leave the neonatal intensive care unit without major problems have good outcomes, and pessimism in counseling their parents in unwarranted.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acidosis / complications*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Fetal Blood / chemistry*
  • Fetal Distress / etiology
  • Fetal Distress / therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Treatment Outcome