Objective: To describe the implementation and outcomes of delayed cord clamping (DCC) in preterm babies.
Study Design: Following staff orientation, a policy of DCC for 45 seconds was instituted for all eligible babies born between 28 and 32 weeks' gestational age, and later to all those younger than 33 weeks.
Results: Of 480 babies, 349 (73%) were eligible for DCC. Of these, 236 (68%) received DCC. Monthly compliance rates to DCC protocol in eligible babies ranged from 18% to 93%. There was no significant difference in demographic measures or rates of delivery room ventilation between eligible babies who did or did not receive DCC. Delayed cord clamping was associated with less hypothermia, higher initial hemoglobin levels, and less necrotizing enterocolitis, with a trend toward lower 1-minute Apgar scores and less blood pressure support.
Conclusions: The DCC protocol is feasible in preterm babies with reinforcement and education. It appears practical, safe, and applicable, and has minimal impact on immediate neonatal transition, with possible early neonatal benefits.