Perinatal Asphyxia: What is it? Causes, Symptoms, Treatments and Effects

The definition is a condition in which a baby’s brain does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or after birth.

This results in brain damage or cardiorespiratory arrest.

Asphyxia can be fatal. Brain cells can begin to die within as little as 5 minutes if they do not receive oxygen.

It can also cause permanent damage, including mental retardation, developmental delay, seizures, and cerebral palsy.

What happens during Perinatal Asphyxia?

Because the perinatal period is a short window; before, during, and after delivery, A child with Perinatal Asphyxia cannot breathe normally.

Before delivery, a pediatrician can monitor the baby’s vital signs, recognize an alarming decrease in oxygen, and perform an emergency cesarean.

On other occasions, a baby is born vaginally, and the doctor, after performing the routine check, the baby detects suffocation.


During both scenarios, medical staff members must be prepared to get the child to breathe as quickly as possible.

What causes this suffocation in babies?

There are several ways that the baby could stop breathing:

  1. Sometimes it is related to a prolapse of the umbilical cord (when the line comes out before the baby) or that the umbilical cord is somehow tightened.
  2. The baby stops breathing because of the meconium aspiration syndrome, a situation in which the baby sucks a mixture of meconium and amniotic fluid before or during vaginal delivery.
  3. A child is born prematurely (before 37 weeks), and his lungs are underdeveloped due to his inability to breathe independently.

The symptoms

The symptoms of a baby that does not breathe are pretty obvious.

Suppose the baby is crying and breathing normally. In that case, there is no suffocation, but if a child is silent, has blue skin, or has difficulty breathing (including rapid breathing), it is pretty evident that the baby has the condition.

What are the effects of Choking on the baby?

The conditions for Perinatal Asphyxia vary depending on whether the baby has mild, moderate, or severe symptoms.

There are several different types of treatment, some that treat emergency symptoms and keep your child alive, but others try to reverse or decrease brain damage.

Babies with mild symptoms can have a life without inhibitions, while babies with severe symptoms can have a shorter life expectancy with a series of painful problems.

The effects of Perinatal Asphyxia can include delays in development, epilepsy, cognitive problems, delays in the development of motor skills, and delays in neurological development.

True gravity, in general, can not be determined until the baby is three or four years old.

Which is the treatment?

If the child is not breathing due to meconium aspiration syndrome, the medical staff has to work to suck the fluid to breathe normally.

For other causes, medical personnel has to respond to these obstacles, although one of the many options may be to put the child on a respirator.

Suppose a child has not breathed for an extended period. In that case, the medical staff can proactively prevent any brain damage by putting the child in a hyperbaric oxygen tank, a therapy designed to expose the child to an environment with 100% of oxygen and flood the body with as much oxygen as possible.

What are the risks for a child who has not breathed for an extended period?

When a child has not been breathing for any period, they may even experience a slight risk of brain damage.

Low oxygen levels in the blood also create acidosis. This condition occurs when excess acid builds up in the blood (another condition that could be treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy).

Each time a child stops breathing for about five minutes, there is a real risk of brain damage, including mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and other problems, such as seizures.

The severity of the Perinatal Asphyxia before, during, and after the birth will determine if the child has other more severe birth injuries.