The review, which was led by University of Sydney researchers and which will be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, shows evidence that delayed clamping decreased infant mortality rates by a third. This is hypothesized to be due to the delayed need for subsequent blood transfusions and increased neonatal hematocrit (the volume percentage of red blood cells in blood), validating that placental transfusion happened.
The researchers observed 3,000 babies who were born before 37 weeks of the gestation period and concluded that delayed cord clamping could save the lives of one-third of the premature babies. They also say that the practice is safe for both the mother and the infant.
"The review shows for the first time that simply clamping the cord 60 seconds after birth improves survival. It confirms international guidelines recommending delayed clamping in all pre-term babies who do not need resuscitation," said University of Sydney professor William Tarnow-Mordi, who was the senior author of the study.