Background Delaying cord clamping (DCC) following delivery of an infant allows for placental transfusion and transfer of blood from the placenta to the infant. Up to two thirds of an infant’s circulating volume will be within the placenta at delivery. In premature babies delaying clamping of the umbilical cord has been shown to decrease the need for blood transfusions, decrease the risk of IVH and NEC.
Aim To introduce delayed cord clamping as routine practice in all babies born under 37 weeks in a busy tertiary surgical neonatal unit.
Method Implementing targeted programme of local education about DCC through perinatal meetings and departmental teaching sessions. Also collecting preliminary data on babies undergoing DCC.
Developing a guideline outlining DCC as routine practice for all preterm babies, agreed by neonatal consultants and published in the neonatal handbook.
Increasing awareness of the guideline and practice of DCC by targeted emails and education sessions.
Auditing guideline with ongoing education and promotion of DCC.
Discussion Following education and the introduction of the guideline there was a significant increase in practice of DCC. Despite many challenges involved in changing this practice it has been rewarding to promote an evidence based practice in order to strive improve clinical care for babies.
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