Shock of birth. Evaluation of neurologic status of term newborn in the first 48 hours of life.
The shock of birth is a transient depression of muscle tone and deep tendon reflexes seen in newborn babies shortly after birth. We evaluated the shock of birth in a sample of 313 consecutive term newborns at 4, 24 and 48 hours of life. We correlated neurologic findings on examination with maternal, obstetric and perinatal data. Special attention was given to the relationship between the mode of delivery and shock of birth. Of the maternal data, factors associated with the shock of birth were obstetric gestational age, previous gestations, abortion or previous vaginal deliveries. Presence of stained amniotic fluid at birth was associated with the shock of birth. There was also a correlation between shock of birth and newborn sex, birth weight, thoracic circumference and the Battaglia and Lubchenco classification. The shock of birth lasted less than 24 hours in 70% of the newborns and less than 48 hours in 84.3%. We conclude that the mode of delivery, vaginal or cesarean section, did not influence the shock of birth. We also established the duration and factors associated with this phenomenon.
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