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ADJUSTMENT OF BLOOD OXYGEN LEVELS IN NEONATAL LIFE

CLEMENT A. SMITH, M.D.; EUGENE KAPLAN, M.D.
Am J Dis Child. 1942;64(5):843-859. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1942.02010110075008.
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The availability of umbilical arterial and venous blood for sampling has led to a number of studies on the oxygen content of the blood of the human infant at birth,1 and considerable emphasis has been placed on the importance of such data for deducing certain facts of neonatal physiology. Actually, evidence from umbilical cord blood must be applied with some care, because of the numerous factors inherent in the process of normal delivery and its obstetric modifications, all of which focus their varying effects on the condition of the fetal blood. Thus a wide variation is observed in any series of measurements of the oxygen content of cord blood. With one or two exceptions,1c,f however, there has been a fairly close agreement in the average figures obtained. Thus, the average blood from the umbilical vein, the content of which is, of course, "arterial" blood flowing from the placenta to

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