Background Resuscitation guidelines recommend delayed cord clamping in term infants and this practice is being widely adopted in the UK. But there are no clear recommendations for early or delayed cord clamping in preterm infants.
Aims and objectives To find out the current UK clinical practice in early or delayed cord clamping in the preterm infants.
Study Design and methods Questionnaire based study carried out via internet tool (SurveyMonkey) followed by telephone interview from non-responders. Questionnaire completed by consultants, registrars or senior neonatal sisters (band 6 and above).
Results 100% response rate from all the 222 units providing neonatal care in the UK. Currently 24% units (52 of 222 units) delay cord clamping or practice other means to facilitate placental transfusion in preterm infants while 63% units have early cord clamping practice and no response from 8% units.
46% (24 of 52 units) delay cord clamping for 31–60 seconds, 17% delay for < 30 seconds, 14% delay for 61–120 seconds and 2% delay for 121–180 seconds. 8% units (4 of 52 units) practise cord milking to facilitate placental transfusion while 13% provided other means of facilitating placental transfusion.
Conclusion Current clinical practice in cord clamping in preterm infants varies significantly in the UK. Despite research showing benefits without any significant adverse effects only 24% units delay cord clamping or use others means to facilitate placental transfusion. A randomised control trial is needed to provide further evidence on effects of early and delayed cord clamping in preterm infants.