IT IS THE purpose of this paper to analyze and define the nature of respiratory stimuli in the newborn infant as distinct from the mature adult, using data on blood gases and blood pH obtained in this laboratory on a series of newborn full-term infants.
The major stimulants to a normal respiration in adult humans and experimental animals have been studied extensively. The mechanisms by which they work are discussed in our modern textbooks of physiology, with emphasis on adult data. This report is concerned with an evaluation of the relative importance of the major stimulants to respiration in the blood of the newly born infant and includes a discussion as to the variable importance of these stimulants (hypoxia, blood pH, and plasma carbon-dioxide tension and content) and how these variabilities might shift the impetus for control of respiration in the newborn infant. An attempt is made to correlate the