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Maternal hypoxemia and fetal breathing movements

, : Maternal hypoxemia and fetal breathing movements. Obstetrics and Gynecology 53(6): 758-760

Fetal breathing movements (FBM) were observed daily using a real-time B-mode ultrasound method in a patient with sickle cell anemia in crisis. Observations were made on 2 occasions in the presence of maternal hypoxemia (PO2 less than or equal to 40 mmHg), and FBM were noted to be absent. Conversely, when maternal PO2 was 60 mmHg or greater, FBM were present 23--80% of the time. The FBM were reduced or absent within 90 minutes of maternal Demerol injection. These observations suggest that the human fetal response to hypoxemia may be similar to that observed under expermental conditions in the animal fetus.


PMID: 450346

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