Prenatal Asphyxia is also known as Birth Asphyxia or Asphyxia Neonatorum. It is a clinical condition that develops when a baby is unable to get enough oxygen during birth. Prenatal Asphyxia may be fatal. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 4 to 9 million newborns develop Prenatal Asphyxia yearly, with approximately 1.2 million deaths.
The two major types of Prenatal Asphyxia are Asphyxia Livida (Blue Asphyxia) and Asphyxia Palla (White or Pale Asphyxia).
The various factors that are responsible for Prenatal Asphyxia are maternal factors, fetal factors and delivery factors. Maternal factors include hypertension, hypotension, diabetes, anaemia, smoking, nephritis, heart disease, extreme age, preeclampsia and certain drugs. Delivery Factors include multiple gestation, pre-term birth, placenta previa, abruptio placenta, congenital malformation, post maturity and malpresentation. Delivery factors are cord accidents, oxytocin excess, prolonged labour, obstructed labour and premature rupture of membranes.
The symptoms of Prenatal Asphyxia are blue skin, pale skin, breathing difficulty, absent cry, weak muscle tone, ocular manifestation, slow heart rate, acidic blood, coma and stupor.
The complications of Asphyxia Neonatorum are necrosis, hemorrhage, pulmonary hypertension, seizures, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, DIC, mental retardation, infection, hypertonia, hypotonia.
Prenatal Asphyxia are diagnosed with laboratory tests which includes full blood count, blood culture and microscopy, urinalysis and renal function test.
The treatment of Prenatal Asphyxia involves oxygen therapy, supportive therapy, medications and thermal control.
Prenatal Asphyxia can be prevented through proper health education physiotherapy and cesarean delivery.
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