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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 1975 Jul 15;122(6):767-71.

Tracheal suction in meconium aspiration.


We performed a retrospective study of the morbidity and mortality rates of 125 infants, born through meconium-stained amniotic fluid, and admitted to the newborn intensive-care unit for observation. A comparison was made of maternal age, history of toxemia, type of anesthesia, duration of analgesia, presence of cord complications, abnormalities of fetal heart rate, duration of meconium staining, birth weight, gestational age, 1 and 5 minute Apgar scores, and type of resuscitation between infants who were symptomatic or asymptomatic in the unit. Forty-three developed respiratory distress (symptomatic) and eight died; 82 were asymptomatic. The only difference between the two groups was a history of immediate tracheal suction in the delivery room. Of 97 infants receiving immediate tracheal suction, 27 became symptomatic and one died--an infant with Down's syndrome and endocardial cushion defect. On the other hand, of 28 infants who did not receive immediate tracheal suction, 16 became symptomatic and seven died of massive meconium aspiration pneumonitis (P less than 0.001). We concluded that in infants born through meconium-stained amniotic fluid, immediate tracheal suction is a safe procedure that significantly lowers the morbidity and mortality rates and produces no further respiratory depression of the infant.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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