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Early Hum Dev. 2018 Apr;119:15-18. doi: 10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2018.02.021. Epub 2018 Mar 5.

Effect of delay in cord clamping 45 versus 60 s on very preterm singleton infants.

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Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor University Medical Center, Pediatrix Medical Group, Dallas, TX, USA. Electronic address:
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
Department of Nursing, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.
Department of Quantitative Health Sciences, Baylor Scott & White Health Care System, Dallas, TX, USA.



In the range of timing suggested by American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists 30 to 60 s, preterm infants may potentially derive more short and long-term benefits with delayed cord clamping (DCC) for at least 60 s. However, there are concerns with longer resuscitation delay in this vulnerable population.


To compare the clinical consequences of 45 versus 60 s delay in umbilical cord clamping in singleton infants born between 230/7 to 316/7 weeks gestation.


We implemented DCC process in very preterm singleton infants, initially for 45 s and later, modified the policy to increase the delay to 60 s. We compared the infants born and received DCC (n = 60) during the 45 s study period (DCC-45 cohort), from Aug.19, 2013, to Aug.18, 2014 to the infants born and received DCC (n = 63) during the 60 s study period (DCC-60 cohort), from Feb.1, 2015, to Jan.31, 2016.


The incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis in DCC-60 cohort was 0% compared to 8% in the DCC-45 cohort (P = 0.02). Similarly, incidence of culture-positive sepsis was significantly lower in the DCC-60 cohort compared to DCC-45 cohort (8% versus 18%; P = 0.04). Incidence of mortality and other major morbidities were similar between both groups. Length of stay was significantly lower in DCC-60 cohort compared to DCC-45 cohort.


DCC for 60 s in very preterm singleton infants was safe, feasible and not associated with any adverse maternal or neonatal short-term outcomes compared to DCC for 45 s.


Delayed cord clamping; Placental transfusion; Quality improvement; Very preterm infants

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