Introduction Earlier studies (small numbers and/or anecdotal case reports) have reported adverse neonatal outcomes following nuchal cord at delivery. More recent studies (larger numbers and/or with control group) have reported opposite results.
Methodology We conducted a retrospective review of deliveries from 2012, particularly presence of nuchal cord at delivery. We reviewed these records in reference to maternal characteristics (gestation, race, gravida, gestational age), antenatal complications (mode of delivery, amniotic fluid, fetal growth restriction, hypertension), intrapartum non reassuring fetal heart tones, low apgar scores, respiratory morbidity, and intensive care unit admission.
Results 2530 deliveries occurred in 2012. Incidence of nuchal cord at delivery was 23.5% (single loop 18.8%, multiple loops 2.8% and tight nuchal cord 1.9%). Nuchal cord occurred more frequently in singleton pregnancies compared to multiple pregnancies (p value = 0.001). We did not observe any significant difference between nuchal cord and non-nuchal cord group as far as variables such as race, gravida, gestational age, mode of delivery, oligo or polyhydramnios, fetal growth restriction, and maternal hypertension was concerned. Incidence of non-reassuring fetal heart tones was more frequent in nuchal cord group compared to non-nuchal cord (p = 0.000). Apgar scores, need for resuscitation, respiratory morbidities, and admission to intensive care unit between the two groups were similar (non-significant).
Conclusion Incidence of nuchal cord in our study is similar to that reported in other studies. Nuchal cord was more frequent in singleton pregnancies, and was accompanied by non-reassuring fetal heart tone pattern. Obstetric and neonatal morbidities were similar across two groups.