In the foregoing discussion we have attempted to provide an overview of much of the information available on the effects of changes in systemic oxygen transport on the neonatal and young subject. Using data synthesized from both human and animal studies, we have described the normal developmental changes and the findings of studies in which oxygen transport has been acutely altered by experimental means. This was intended to highlight the potentially delicate balance that can occur between oxygen supply and utilization during the critical period of rapid growth after birth. Finally, using the left-to-right shunt as an example, we have tried to show how a common pathologic condition can impair oxygen transport at multiple sites, and how normal development can make matters worse. It is anticipated that from an understanding of both normal and abnormal physiology, we will be able to develop rational approaches to the management of infants in whom the oxygen transport system has been stressed beyond its reserve.