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Arch Gynecol Obstet. 1995;256 Suppl:S32-42.

-Neonatal asphyxia as the cause of brain damage in children?-.

[Article in German]

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Universit├Ąts-Frauenklinik, Bern, Switzerland.


The prevalence of cerebral palsy (CP) has increased over the last 15 years in most countries. This is explained by an improved survival of very low birth weight prematures. In term infants birth asphyxia is of minor significance as a cause for CP. In only 10% of all CP cases following delivery at term, birth asphyxia must be discussed as a possible cause. In premature deliveries events during the perinatal period are of greater significance for the later development of a CP. Only severe forms of oxygen deficit, leading to tissue damage in the brain and other organs with clinical symptoms during the first days of life, are of significance for the long term prognosis. Even in the presence of severe birth asphyxia the causal relationship with a psychomotor handicap is not proven, since brain damage may have developed during pregnancy before the onset of labour and may be the cause of birth asphyxia. Brain damage and birth asphyxia may be the result of a common pathology of pregnancy.

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