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Perinatal asphyxia is a condition in which a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen during or after birth. This results in cardiorespiratory or brain damage.
Asphyxia can be fatal. Brain cells can begin dying within as little as five minutes without oxygen. The disease can also cause long-term damage, including intellectual disability, delayed development, seizures, and cerebral palsy.
Life-sustaining treatment may be used if reduced brain function has happened but there is no extensive damage yet. Treatment options include mechanical ventilation to take over or support breathing and oxygen therapy. These treatments will be stooped as your baby recovers.
Medication may be needed to support heart function until your baby recovers. Medication and general anesthesia may also be given to control seizures.
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Hemphill J, Smith W. Neurologic critical care, including hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In: Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Kasper DL, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 17th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill; 2005: chap 269.
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). Neurographics website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed February 19, 2013.
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8/11/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance ...(Click grey area to select URL) Azzopardi D, Strohm B, et al. Effects of hypothermia for perinatal asphyxia on childhood outcomes. N Engl J Med. 2014;371(2):140-149.
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This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.