Oxygen is a toxic agent and a critical approach regarding its use during resuscitation at birth is developing. Animal data indicate that room air is efficient for newborn resuscitation. Three clinical studies have established that normal ventilation is delayed after oxygen resuscitation. Oxidative stress is augmented for several weeks in infants exposed to oxygen at birth -- the long-term implications of these observations remain unclear. There are limited data regarding the use of room air during complicated resuscitations, i.e. in meconium aspiration, the severely asphyxiated infant and in the preterm infant. Thus, it is necessary to continue ongoing rigorous examination of the long-accepted practice of oxygen administration during neonatal resuscitation.
Copyright 2001 Harcourt Publishers Ltd.