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J Gynecol Obstet Biol Reprod (Paris). 2003 Feb;32(1 Suppl):1S98-105.

[Newborn asphyxia at term during delivery].

[Article in French]

Author information

  • 1Service Mobile d'Urgence et de Réanimation Pédiatrique 75, Hôpital Robert-Debré, AP-HP, 48, boulevard Sérurier, 75019 Paris. noelle.lode@rdb.ap-hop-paris.fr


Recruitment, work load and morbidity linked to newborn asphyxia during delivery at term: a study from Pediatric Mobile Intensive Care Units.


In a population of term neonates transported by the mobile intensive care units (MICU), we aimed to determine the incidence of neonates with anoxic-ischemic encephalopathy related to asphyxia, to analyze in this population the difficulties of management, and to try to identify which of these newborns require new therapeutic strategies.


This retrospective study was performed over a 2-year period (2000 and 2001) in 3 paediatric MICU from the Ile de France area. During this period, 7,648 infants were transported including 3,301 newborns of more than 36 weeks of gestational age and less than 72 hours of life. These neonates came from 73 different hospitals. Among these 3,301 infants, 237 neonates (124 boys and 113 girls) with anoxic-ischemic encephalopathy related to asphyxia were selected in the present study. Inclusion criteria were association of one obligatory criterion of fetal distress during delivery and at least one criterion of neonatal asphyxia or one criterion of anoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Data were compiled and analyzed with Epidata package and Epi info package, respectively.


These 237 neonates with anoxic-ischemic represented 12% of MICU activity at the same gestational and postnatal ages. The mean gestational age was 39.5 + 1.5 weeks. The mean birth weight was 3,188 + 559 g. More than 50% of these neonates were born in level I maternities. Fifty-three percent of the infants were born by caesarean section. Eighty-three percent of the neonates had an Apgar score at 1 minute <3. Eighty-eight percent of the neonates received resuscitation care at 5 minutes of life and 34% of these had an Apgar score at 10 minutes <5. In 50% of the cases, the MICUs arrived at the maternity of delivery within 1 h 45 min of life and transportation of the neonates was completed after 3 hours of life. The neonates were transported to an intensive care unit in 88% of the cases (half to a polyvalent intensive care unit and half to a neonatal intensive care unit). Forty-four percent of transported neonates had no encephalopathy, 30% had a severe encephalopathy or seizures, 27% had multiple organ failure. Mortality reached 28% and encephalopathy accounted for two thirds of these deaths. Neonates who arrived in pediatric care units after 3 hours of life had more severe morbidity than neonates who arrived before 3 hours of life.


Pediatric MICUs transport the most severely affected neonates. The initial clinical state is critical, and systemic and neurological complications are frequent and severe. Calls to the MICU should be made earlier in order to enable a better impact of new neuroprotective strategies.

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