<<  3  >>
Transition from fetal to neonatal respiration

    Dr. Morley also suggested I read the paper by Mercer and Skovgaard (2002)
    and that of Gunther (1957):

    Gunther (1957) reported results of her measurements of weight gain
    from placental transfusion during the minutes following birth [1].  

    Mercer and Skovgaard (2002) reviewed the sequence of events that
    must occur for a newborn infant to make the transition from placental
    to pulmonary respiration [2].

    Both of these papers discussed the work of Jaykka, who demonstrated that
    inflation of the lungs occurs only after the capillaries surrounding the alveoli
    are filled with blood [3].  Jaykka further showed that ventilation of fetal lungs
    leads to patchy inflation of lung tissue closest to the airways.  Transfusion
    with blood leads to full inflation of all lobes.

    The papers by Jaykka have been largely overlooked despite their importance
    for understanding that placental blood is respiratory blood, and its transfer to
    the lungs following birth is crucial for survival and health of the infant.
             ----------
  1. Gunther M. The transfer of blood between baby and placenta in the minutes
    after birth. Lancet. 1957 Jun 22;272(6982):1277-80.
  2. Mercer JS, Skovgaard RL. Neonatal transitional physiology: A new paradigm.
    J Perinat Neonatal Nurs. 2002 Mar;15(4):56-75.  See abstract in PubMed.
  3. Jäykkä S. Capillary erection and lung expansion; an experimental study of the
    effect of liquid pressure applied to the capillary network of excised fetal lungs.
    Acta Paediatr Suppl. 1957 Jan;46(suppl 112):1-91.
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