ACOG and AAP Definition

  • The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Academy of Pediatrics have recommended adoption of a definition of term intrapartum asphyxia developed by an international task force in 2003.
  • The definition requires that all four parameters must be met in order to diagnose asphyxiation in a term fetus. These include metabolic acidosis (represented by umbilical artery pH of <7.0 and base excess of <-12/base deficit of >12); specific types of cerebral palsy correlated with the kinds of asphyxial damage seen in term fetal brains; early seizures and other neurological signs, and exclusion of all other causes.
  • These criteria do not apply to pre-term infants, since their immature systems result in different signs.

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