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Am J Perinatol. 1990 Jan;7(1):87-91.

Efficacy of bulb versus DeLee suction at deliveries complicated by meconium stained amniotic fluid.

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Department of Medical Education, St. Paul Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75235.


A combined obstetric-pediatric approach to the management of deliveries complicated by meconium-stained amniotic fluid has been recommended to decrease the incidence of meconium aspiration syndrome. Although pharyngeal suction with a DeLee catheter is generally recommended, many obstetricians prefer to use a bulb syringe for suction at the perineum. A thorough review of the literature reveals no prospective studies in humans comparing the two techniques. In the present study, these two techniques of pharyngeal suction were prospectively compared at deliveries complicated by meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Of the total 2874 deliveries, 127 (4%) were complicated by moderate or thickly meconium-stained amniotic fluid, and 107 of these were included in the study. There were 53 infants in the DeLee-suctioned group and 54 in the bulb-suctioned group. Of the 107 studied infants, four (4%) developed meconium aspiration syndrome, three in the DeLee group and one in the bulb group. There was no significant difference in the amount of meconium found below the vocal cords, comparing pharyngeal DeLee suction to bulb suction (0.22 cc versus 0.24 cc; p = NS). In conclusion, the data fail to support a significant difference in efficacy between bulb and DeLee suction in clearing the naso- and oropharynx of the neonate of meconium in cephalic-presenting vaginal or cesarean delivery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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