Delayed Umbilical Cord Clamping May Help with ROP and Others

May 26th, 2010

Researchers at the University of South Florida’s Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair say that delaying clamping of the umbilical cord to more than a minute in premature babies could have benefits. Further testing and research is needed.

Authors of a study, published in the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, say delaying the clamping of the cord in premature babies could help with disorders including retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), chronic lung disease, premature apneas, respiratory distress, anemia, sepsis, intraventricular haemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia.

Doctors typically clamp the cord within 30 seconds to one minute following birth. This saves valuable stem cells in the cords that will be banked for transplants. And, the effects of delaying the clamping process are not yet clear.

However, authors of the study argue that in premature babies and those in which the cords are not going to be banked, it may be beneficial to delay the clamping so the infants can receive more umbilical cord blood volume from their mothers.

Study authors refer to the moments after birth as, “nature’s first stem cell transplant.” The nickname comes from the idea that the umbilical cord is full of valuable stem cells that are pumped from mother to child. In the few minutes following birth, valuable stem cells are still being pumped to the newborn. More research is necessary. A general consensus to the benefits of delaying the process has not yet been reached.

(Source: Sify News)

If your child was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity and you would like more information, please contact our ROP lawyers today.