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January 11, 1947


JAMA. 1947;133(2):125. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02880020051024

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To the Editor:—  We are interested in the paper of Davis and Potter on "Intrauterine Respiration of the Human Fetus" which appeared in The Journal August 10. On the basis of our own experiments of this nature we feel that the evidence which they present fails to be convincing on at least three counts:First, the proponents of the thesis that the fetus normally aspirates amniotic fluid in utero cite Ahlfeld's early paper on the observability of fetal respiratory movements through the intact maternal abdomen during the later stages of pregnancy. Yet rarely does an obstetrician encounter this phenomenon. If the authors themselves observed such movements in their own series, they fail to report them. It is our belief that if and when movements are observable the fetus may be in a state of mild anoxic distress. May it be that their late fetuses did not execute respiratory movements until

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