Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of umbilical cord milking (UCM) on the need for packed red blood cell (PRBC) transfusion and hematologic and haemodynamic parameters in very-low–birth-weight infants.
Methods The infants were randomised into 2 groups: group 1 (UCM) and group 2 (control). The primary outcome was the number of PRBC transfusions during the first 35 days of life. The secondary outcome measures were the haemodynamic variables during the first 24 h of life.
Results A total of 44 infants were included with 22 infants in each group. Two of 21 infants in group 1 and 4 of 21 infants in group 2 received transfusion in the first 3 days of life (p = 0.384). The number and volume of PRBC transfusions were similar in both groups (Table 1). Comparison of laboratory outcomes resulted in statistically significance only in median Hb values at first (16.8 g/dL [range, 14.1 to 18.8 g/dL] and 15.4 g/dL [range, 12.3 to 18.5 g/dL]; p = 0.019) and 24th hour after birth (16.1 g/dL [range, 13.4 to 21 g/dL] and 14.9 g/dL [range,10.2 to 18 g/dL]; p = 0.021) between UCM and control groups, respectively. Phlebotomy volume was found as a statistically significant risk factor for the need for PRBC transfusion (p = 0.005).
Conclusions UCM in delivery room results in a higher Hb level in the first day of life. In these groups of infants, phlebotomy losses may impact the transfusion need.