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Improving infant outcome with a 10 min Apgar of 0
  1. Ericalyn Kasdorf1,
  2. Abbot Laptook2,
  3. Dennis Azzopardi3,
  4. Susan Jacobs4,
  5. Jeffrey M Perlman1
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, New York, USA
  2. 2Department of Pediatrics, Women & Infants’ Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island, USA
  3. 3Division of Clinical Sciences and Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Hammersmith Hospital, Imperial College London, London, UK
  4. 4Neonatal Services, Royal Women's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ericalyn Kasdorf, Department of Pediatrics, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, 525 East 68th Street N-506, New York, NY 10065, USA; erk9007{at}


Objective Asystole at birth and extending through 10 min is rare, with current international recommendations stating it may be appropriate to consider discontinuation of resuscitation in this clinical scenario. These recommendations are based on small case series of both term and preterm infants, where death or abnormal outcome was nearly universal. Study objective was to determine recent outcome of infants with an Apgar score of 0 at 10 min despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation, treated with therapeutic hypothermia or standard treatment, in randomised cooling studies.

Design Outcome studies of infants with an Apgar of 0 at 10 min subsequently resuscitated and treated with hypothermia or standard treatment were reviewed and combined with local outcome data of infants treated with hypothermia.

Results Four recent studies (n=81) and local data (n=9) yielded a total of 90 infants with an Apgar of 0 at 10 min, with 56 treated with hypothermia and 34 controls. Primary outcome of death or abnormal neurodevelopmental outcome (18–24 months) occurred in 73% cooled and 79.5% normothermic infants (p=0.61).

Implications Although poor, the outcome for infants with an Apgar of 0 at 10 min of life has improved substantially in recent years. This may be related to treatment with hypothermia, enhanced resuscitation techniques and/or other supportive management. Current recommendations to consider discontinuation of resuscitation without a detectable heart rate at 10 min should consider these findings.

  • Neonatology
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Outcomes research
  • Resuscitation

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