The aim of this study was to establish the outcome of very severe birth asphyxia in a group of babies intensively resuscitated at birth. 48 infants, born between 1966 and 1971 inclusive, were selected; 15 were apparently stillborn and 33 had not established spontaneous respirations by 20 minutes after birth. One-half of them died, but 3 to 7 years later three-quarters of the survivors are apparently normal. Later handicap was associated with factors leading to prolonged partial intrapartum asphyxia, while acute periods of more complete asphyxia were not necessarily harmful.
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