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July 1971

Physiology of the Perinatal Period: Functional and Biochemical Development in Mammals

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Am J Dis Child. 1971;122(1):92. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02110010128033

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This two volume work is presented as a survey of prenatal and postnatal developmental physiology. Fetal physiology constitutes a minor portion of the material presented, but this is certainly consistent with the relative dirth of knowledge in this area as contrasted to the more complete knowledge of postnatal developmental physiology. The material of the 41 international contributors is presented within the following seven sections: (1) growth and physiologic changes at birth; (2) respiration, circulation, and blood; (3) metabolism; (4) body fluids and renal function; (5) neuromuscular system; (6) endocrine system; (7) hypoxia neonatorum. The vast majority of sections are very well illustrated, primarily with graphic presentation of data. The organization of material within major sections is consistently thorough and logical with frequent subtitles.

From an obstetrician's viewpoint, the discussion of fetal distress manifested by alterations of fetal heart rate is somewhat inadequate. The current widespread clinical usage of fetal heart

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