TOO LITTLE ATTENTION has been paid in the past, by either the obstretician or anesthetist, to a consideration of the physiologic balance of oxygen and carbon dioxid in the fetus during labor. Davis, McKesson, and many others have emphasized the need for enriching the mother's inspired atmosphere with oxygen. Trusler, Guedel and George1 recognize the fact that the fetal respiratory center is apt to be depressed at birth due to narcosis, anoxemia, and trauma. They emphasize the physiologic importance of carbon dioxid in combating such depression. They fail, however, to emphasize, sufficiently, the factor of anoxemia as judged by the fetal heart rate throughout labor. They suggest the possibility, and discount it, of producing intra-uterine respiration by administration of carbon dioxid to the mother.
*Read during the Joint Meeting of the Mid-Western Association of Anesthetists with the Southern Association of Anesthetists in Conjunction with the Southern Medical Association, Hotel Seelbach, Louisville, Ky., November 11–16, 1930. From the Department of Anesthesia and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical School, University of Wisconsin.
© 1931 International Anesthesia Research Society