Birth Asphyxia

Dr Manigandan Chandrasekaran, Dr. R. Kishore Kumar
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Birth Asphyxia - Patient Education
What is Birth Asphyxia?
Birth asphyxia is the name for when your child doesn’t breathe normally during, or after birth. The term ‘Asphyxia’ is a condition that describes a decreased or discontinued level of oxygen.

What Causes Birth Asphyxia?
Causes include Inadequate oxygen levels in the mother's blood due to medical conditions or lowered respirations caused by anesthesia, placental abruption (early separation of the placenta from the uterus), compression of the umbilical cord that decreases blood flow (cord prolapse) and poor placenta function due to medical conditions like hypertension.

How is birth asphyxia diagnosed?
The symptoms of a child not breathing is itself enough to diagnose birth asphyxia. It could also be present if a child is silent, limp, blue, or has trouble breathing. Doctors may need to examine and do some blood tests (to look for increase in acid) before a definitive diagnosis is made.

What is the treatment for Birth Asphyxia?
If the baby isn’t breathing, medical staff may provide breathing with an ambu bag. If baby continues to be unwell with not breathing, they might use ventilator (artificial breathing machine). Oxygen might be needed as well.

What are the long term risks for a baby after birth asphyxia?
When a baby does not breathe at birth for any period of time, there is mild risk of having a brain damage. Brain damage include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy and other problems such as seizures could happen if baby suffers severe form of birth asphyxia.


References
Birth Asphyxia Birth Asphyxia 09/05/2018
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