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Fetal Diagn Ther. 2004 May-Jun;19(3):228-31.

Neonatal resuscitation by laryngeal mask airway after elective cesarean section.

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Department of Pediatrics, Padua University, Padua, Italy.


The aim of this case-control study was to determine whether unplanned resuscitation using a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is suitable for neonates delivered by elective cesarean section, a procedure known to carry a risk of inadequate physiological response to birth with a consequent adverse respiratory outcome. During a 3-year period, from January 1998 to December 2000, all newborns delivered by elective cesarean section at term were compared with the next infant born vaginally in the same maternity unit (level III center). The two groups were matched for gestational age >37 weeks. The requirement for resuscitation with positive-pressure ventilation (PPV) using either the LMA or an endotracheal tube (ETT), together with the occurrence of an adverse neonatal outcome, was recorded and analyzed in the cesarean section and vaginal delivery groups. During this time 1,284 at-term elective cesarean sections were performed. 3% (n = 43) of the cesarean section deliveries and 1.4% (n = 18) of the vaginal controls required PPV resuscitation by LMA or ETT, a significant difference (OR 1.26; 95% CI 2.38-5.1; p < 0.01). Of the cesarean section group requiring resuscitation, 30 neonates were managed with the LMA and 13 with the ETT, while in the control vaginal delivery group the numbers were 13 and 5, respectively. LMA use accounted of about 70% of the overall PPV resuscitations and was associated with a successful outcome in 42 of 43 cases. One case was unsuccessfully managed with the LMA, and the ETT subsequently used was effective. Moreover, the probability for the LMA-resuscitated newborns of both cesarean and vaginal groups to have a <5 Apgar score at 1 and 5 min, neonatal intensive care unit admission, and respiratory insufficiency requiring oxygen and intermittent mandatory ventilation was statistically lower than for the ETT group (p < 0.01). In conclusion, infants born by elective cesarean section at term are at increased risk of requiring PPV resuscitation as compared with those born by vaginal delivery. We have shown that about 70% of the neonates who required PPV resuscitation after elective cesarean section and vaginal delivery were arbitrarily treated with LMA by the attending anesthesiologist, without adverse negative respiratory outcome.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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