Effects of pharyngeal suction on the arterial oxygen saturation and heart rate in healthy newborns delivered by elective cesarean section

To evaluate the effect of oro-and naso- pharyngeal suction (ONPS) on the SpO2 and heart rate (HR) in healthy term newborns delivered by cesarean section, at the first minutes after birth.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: We conducted a prospective randomized trial. Newborns were randomized to ONPS and No-ONSP groups. Continuous readings of SpO2 and HR were performed during the first 10 minutes, and subsequently at 15, 30 and 60 minutes after birth.
RESULTS: A total of 84 newborns were evaluated; 42 in ONPS group and 42 in No-ONPS group, with mean gestational age and birth weight±SD of 38.4 weeks and 3533±403 g in the ONPS group and 38.0 weeks and 3575±568 g in the No-ONPS group. The mean SpO2±SD at the first minute of life in the former group was 52.6±7.6% vs 56.1±10.8% on the latter; with no significant difference (p = 0.28). The mean HR±SD at first minute of life was 137±25 in the No-ONPS and 148±13 in the ONPS group (p = 0.02), but no difference was found in the subsequent minutes.
CONCLUSION: Not performing ONPS in newborns delivered by cesarean section does not affect SpO2 and HR in the first postpartum hour.

*Corresponding Author: 

Aldo Bancalari, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Concepción, Concepción, Chile. E-mail: aldobancalari@gmail.com.