|Brain damage, respiratory distress, and other outcomes
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an urgent ongoing need
fetal to postnatal circulation
Contact: Eileen Nicole Simon
|Who cares about outcomes? What about a baby who doesn't breathe within second of
delivery? Whose problem is the lifelong care of a child disabled at birth?
|Experimental asphyxia of newborn monkeys did not produce cerebral palsy as
anticipated. Damage was found in the midbrain auditory pathway. Damage of this area
of the brain has recently been found to disrupt speech comprehension.
|Neuropathology found in the brains of monkeys subjected to asphyxia at birth most
closely resembled that of kernicterus, but without yellow staining. Asphyxia disrupts the
blood-brain barrier in the same brainstem nuclei affected in "bilirubin encephalopathy."
|Gunther (1957) is an English-language replication of research on placental transfusion
done in Germany 30 years earlier. Cases are presented in which placental respiration
maintained life of the infant until onset of breathing more than 5 minutes after birth.
|In response to Gunther's article, Mahaffey & Rossdale (1957, 1959) reported on a
convulsive syndrome in thoroughbred foals born with human assistance and immediate
clamping of the umbilical cord.
|Recent research on timing of umbilical cord clamping has totally ignored the research of
Gunther and earlier investigators, for whom the standard of care was to wait at least for
the infant's first breath before clamping the cord and preferably for cessation of pulsation.
|Posted: February 27, 2006
(a work in progress)
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|Transfusions with umbilical cord blood had its beginnings in the 1930s. Umbilical cord
clamping was soon found responsible for anemia in infancy. These were among a long
history of "randomized controlled studies" never referenced in similar recent research.
|More and more
|A review of research on the pros and cons of umbilical cord clamping is in progress
here. Present day protocols promote clamping the cord, even before the first breath, in
large part to prevent jaundice. But kernicterus is nevertheless on the rise!
|Among the neglected research reports of the past are several in German from the
pre-World War II era. The research of Allmeling (1930) was cited and confirmed by