Perinatal asphyxia is a cause of significant morbidity among full term infants, but breathing abnormalities after an asphyxic insult have not been studied. This report details breathing patterns of 16 full term asphyxiated infants, during the first week of life who were studied by transthoracic impedance pneumocardiograms. Pneumocardiograms were abnormal in 69% of infants in the asphyxiated group and 13% of infants in the control group. Significant differences were noted in the incidence of prolonged apnoea, the percentage of periodic breathing, and in apnoea density. These results indicate that there are significant abnormalities in the breathing pattern of full term infants, during their first week, after perinatal asphyxia. Similar abnormalities have been described in infants who had experienced 'near miss' sudden infant death syndrome.
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