Tracheal suctioning of meconium at birth for non-vigorous infants: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Daniele Trevisanuto, Marya L. Strand, Mandira Daripa Kawakami, Jorge Fabres, Edgardo Szyld, Kevin Nation, Myra H. Wyckoff, Yacov Rabi, Henry C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

2 Scopus citations


Context: The International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation sought to review the initial management of non-vigorous newborns delivered through meconium stained amniotic fluid (MSAF). Objective: To complete a systematic review and meta-analysis comparing endotracheal intubation and suctioning to immediate resuscitation without intubation for non-vigorous infants born at ≥34 weeks gestation delivered through MSAF. Data sources: Medline, EMBASE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and other registries were searched from 1966 to November 7, 2019. Study selection: Studies were selected by pairs of independent reviewers in 2 stages. Data extraction: Reviewers extracted data, appraised risk of bias, and assessed Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation certainty of evidence for each outcome. Results: Four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) included 581 patients and one observational study included 231 patients. No significant differences were observed between the group treated with tracheal suctioning compared with immediate resuscitation for survival at discharge (4 RCTs; risk ratio [RR] = 1.01; 95 % CI, 0.96–1.06; p = 0.69; observational study; no deaths), hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy and meconium aspiration syndrome. Limitations: The certainty of evidence was low for survival at discharge and very low for all other outcomes. Conclusions: For non-vigorous newborns delivered through MSAF, there is insufficient evidence to suggest routine immediate direct laryngoscopy with tracheal suctioning. PROSPERO: CRD42019122778. Clinical Trials Registration: PROSPERO; CRD42019122778.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-126
Number of pages10
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • Infant newborn
  • Meconium aspiration syndrome
  • Meta-analysis
  • Non-vigorous infant
  • Review
  • Tracheal suctioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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    Trevisanuto, D., Strand, M. L., Kawakami, M. D., Fabres, J., Szyld, E., Nation, K., Wyckoff, M. H., Rabi, Y., & Lee, H. C. (2020). Tracheal suctioning of meconium at birth for non-vigorous infants: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Resuscitation, 149, 117-126.