Hypoxia in the neonate

  • D. Vidyasagar
Part of the Developments in Critical Care Medicine and Anaesthesiology book series (DCCA, volume 1)


In considering hypoxia in the newborn, one has to consider both fetal and immediate neonatal physiologic changes that follow the birthing process. It has been observed for a long time that the fetus has been under extreme hypoxic conditions in utero. Sir Barcroft [1] described the fetus living at the top of Mount Everest. While it is true that the fetal arterial PO2 levels are close to those at Mount Everest, the fetus is well oxygenated for its needs. During the passage of birth, the fetus is subjected to a tremendous degree of hypoxia; still the infant emerges as a champion in the majority of the cases. The extreme hypoxic insult during the process of birth has lead the perinatal physiologists to call the process of birth the “Valley of Shadow of Birth” [2].


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1982

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  • D. Vidyasagar

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