Fetal Reflexes in Chronic Hypoxaemia
Currently our physiological and clinical understanding of how the fetus responds to hypoxaemia or asphyxia is primarily based on observations of the effects of single acute episodes of these insults. We know very little about how the fetus responds and adapts to chronic hypoxaemia or asphyxia, yet it is becoming increasingly evident that the developing fetus is more likely to face either such continuous compromise or repeated acute insults. It is evident from a number of studies that what happens during fetal life has important consequences after birth. This observation raises several fundamental questions about how the fetus adapts to its abnormal intrauterine environment, how it is able to respond to further challenges and how these fetal adaptations affect postnatal life.
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