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To the Editor:—
May I comment on the query on page 358 of THE JOURNAL, January 31, "Asphyxia of the Newborn?" Predelivery oxygen administered to the mother is probably only effective if administered for fifteen to thirty minutes prior, to delivery and discontinued as the presenting part passes the perineum. Observation indicates that uterine contraction which diminishes the area of placentation decidedly reduces the interchange of blood gasses. Such change in the size of placentation naturally results when there is decrease in the contents of the uterine cavity. I agree that respiratory movements precede delivery.Unpublished studies in 1931 and 1932 indicated that the oxygen content of fetal cord venous blood at the instant of delivery average from 1.5 to 2.4 mg., per hundred cubic centimeters, and in a occasional case the oxygen content was even lower. The carbon dioxide content was 15 to 18 mg. Therefore predelivery oxygen to
BUSHNELL LF. ASPHYXIA OF THE NEWBORN. JAMA. 1948;136(15):1000. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02890320044019