London, Nov 11 (ANI): A retired consultant obstetrician from the Memorial Hospital in Darlington has urged obstetricians and midwives to wait a few minutes before clamping the umbilical cords of newborn infants so that babies are not harmed by the procedure.
Dr David Hutchon said it's time for the UK to follow guidance from the World Health Organisation and the International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics and refrain from early cord clamping.
One explanation for the apparent resistance of clinicians to follow the evidence is that that cord clamping "has become the accepted norm so much so that delaying clamping is generally considered a new or unproved intervention," he wrote.
Yet he argued that, "applying a clamp to the cord is clearly an intervention, having the greatest effect when it is done quickly after birth."
And he fears that very early clamping might injure babies, for example they could experience severe blood loss (hypovolaemia).
Hutchon believes that if the need for early cord clamping was removed from NICE's guideline, "there could be an overnight change in practice."
He concluded, "Clamping the functioning umbilical cord at birth is an unproven intervention. Lack of awareness of current evidence, pragmatism, and conflicting guidelines are all preventing change. To prevent further injury to babies we would be better to rush to change."
The article has been published on bmj.com. (ANI)