Suctioning habits in the delivery room and the influence on postnatal adaptation - a video analysis

Authors: Konstantelos, D., Ifflaender, S., Dinger, J., Rüdiger, M. (2014)

The aim was to determine how often infants are suctioned during delivery and how often it affects the neonate.

Single-center analysis of video-recorded delivery room management after c-section from January 2012 until April 2013. Time point, duration, and frequency of suctioning in term and preterm newborns were analyzed along with vital parameters (heart rate HR and saturation values).

Three hundred forty-six videos were analyzed with the software Mangold INTERACT. Twenty-three percent of term and 66% of preterm newborns were suctioned. Newborns were suctioned up to 14 times; total duration spent for suctioning was between 2 and 154 s. Suctioning before face mask application occurred in 31% of the suctioned newborns requiring respiratory support. No severe bradycardia (<60 bpm) was noticed. Suctioning did not have an effect on HR and saturation in preterm infants but was associated with significantly higher HR in term infants requiring respiratory support. Term infants who did not require respiratory support showed significantly higher saturation values at 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10 min if they were not suctioned.

Suctioning of newborns in the delivery room does not adhere to recommendations of international guidelines. However, previously described side effects of suctioning could not be confirmed.