Other Articles
December 1948


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Obstetrics, Johns Hopkins University and Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1948;76(6):661-665. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1948.02030030676006

IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE that anoxia and advanced degrees of hypoxia are frequent causes of stillbirth and neonatal death. Oxygen want on the part of the fetus may be brought about by several mechanisms.

The term anoxic anoxia (anoxia due to lack of oxygen) may be defined as deficiency of oxygen in the tissues due to some cutting off or vitiation of the oxygen supply to the blood. In extrauterine life this source of supply is, of course, the respiratory tract. As examples of anoxic anoxia may be cited laryngeal obstruction and the effects of high altitude flying. Since the fetus in utero derives its oxygen from sources outside its own body, indeed from the oxygen in the maternal blood some distance from its own body, a breakdown in this extrinsic oxygen supply must be considered in anoxic anoxia of the fetus. In the opinion of Edith Potter, only cases

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