Aim: To test whether intramuscular injection of 30 μg adrenaline decreased the incidence of respiratory distress and hypoglycaemia in term infants delivered by elective caesarean section before active labour.
Method: The study was randomised and double-blinded. A total of 270 neonates were assigned to intramuscular treatment with saline (0.30 ml) or 30 μg adrenaline (0.30 ml) immediately after birth. The primary endpoint was referral to the neonatal ward because of respiratory distress or a blood glucose level <1.8 mmol/l measured 2 h after birth. The first 50 infants were monitored with pulse oximetry to disclose potential side effects.
Results: Pulse-oximetry recordings revealed a modest systemic effect by intramuscular adrenaline as the heart rate and the haemoglobin oxygen saturation were significantly higher in infants who received adrenaline. In contrast, the incidence of respiratory distress and hypoglycaemia was 14% among infants treated with adrenaline compared with 7% in those who received saline injection (p = 0.048).
Conclusion: Intramuscular injection of 30 μg adrenaline does not reduce the incidence of respiratory distress or hypoglycaemia after elective caesarean section.
Trial registration number: NCT00322660.
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Funding: The study was supported financially by the Ib Henriksen’s Foundation, the Lundbeck’s Foundation, the Rosalie Petersen’s Foundation, the Dagmar Marshall’s Foundation and the Foundation of 1870.
Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Study approval was obtained from the Ethical Committee of Greater Copenhagen (KF 11296880), from the Danish Medicines Agency (EuDract Nr.2005-006150-25), and from the Danish Data Protection Agency.
Patient consent: Parental consent obtained.