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A state of general hypoxia and hypercapnea, resulting in acidosis, which affects all tissues in the body.

Symptoms of Asphyxia

The following features are indicative of Asphyxia:
  • abnormal breathing
  • choking

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Common Causes of Asphyxia

The following are the most common causes of Asphyxia:
  • prolonged labour
  • mid forceps or breech delivery in full-term infants
  • abruption of placentae
  • difficult breech delivery
  • maternal sedation in premature infant deliveries

Other Causes of Asphyxia

The following are the less common causes of Asphyxia:
  • respiratory diseases
  • sleep apnea
  • seizure which stops breathing activity
  • strangling
  • breaking the windpipe
  • drowning
  • drug overdose
  • low oxygen atmosphere like underwater, excessive smoke, vacuum

Risk Factors for Asphyxia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Asphyxia:
  • newborn infants

Prevention of Asphyxia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Asphyxia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • Cardiotocograph test helps in identifying the possibility of asphyxia in pregnancy

Occurrence of Asphyxia

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Asphyxia cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Common between 1 - 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Asphyxia most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • At birth

Common Gender

Asphyxia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Asphyxia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Asphyxia:
  • Apgar score test: To check the physical condition by adding points (2, 1, or 0) for heart rate, respiratory effort, muscle tone, response to stimulation, and skin coloration
  • Umbilical cord arterial pH testing: It provides evidence of the metabolic condition of neonates at the moment of birth
  • Multisystem organ dysfunction testing: To check any cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, hematological, pulmonary and renal dysfunctions
  • Neurological manifestations testing: To check seizures, coma, hypotonia

Complications of Asphyxia if untreated

Yes, Asphyxia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Asphyxia is left untreated:
  • changes in the hemopoietic system
  • altered biophysical characteristics of blood
  • changes in the structure of certain blood elements
  • changes in the function of erythrocytes
  • changes in leukocytes and thrombocytes

Procedures for Treatment of Asphyxia

The following procedures are used to treat Asphyxia:
  • Hypothermia treatment: To reduce the risk of death and disability by ages 18 to 22 months compared to routine care

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Asphyxia.

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