Asphyxia neonatorum is a neonatal emergency as it may lead to hypoxia (lowering of oxygen supply to the brain and tissues) and possible brain damage or death if not correctly managed.
Women at risk for asphyxia neonatorum pregnancies should receive focused prenatal care from an obstetrician skilled at preventing and detecting problems such as anemia that may contribute to asphyxia neonatorum.
The symptoms of asphyxia neonatorum are bluish or gray skin color (cyanosis), slow heartbeat (bradycardia), stiff or limp limbs (hypotonia), and a poor response to stimulation.
While prenatal care will not necessarily prevent newborn asphyxia, it can help ensure that both the mother and her baby are as healthy as possible at the time of birth.
Pregnant women who are at high risk of delivering newborns with asphyxia neonatorum should arrange for a close follow-up of their pregnancy with their obstetrician.
If an inadequate supply of oxygen from the placenta is detected during labor, the infant is at high risk for asphyxia, and an emergency delivery may be attempted either using forceps or by cesarean section.
If the case is about to terminate fatally the spasms rapidly succeed each other and death usually occurs within two hours, either from asphyxia produced by spasm of the respiratory muscles or more rarely from exhaustion.
They often avert death from asphyxia, or render the end less distressing.
The effects of the ingestion of large quantities may be so rapid that death may take place in a couple of hours, owing to collapse, consequent on perforation of the walls of the oesophagus or stomach, or from asphyxia due to swelling of the glottis consequent on some of the acid having entered the larynx.
If death from asphyxia appears imminent artificial respiration may be resorted to.