Papers And Originals

Coagulation Defects in Hypoxic Full-term Newborn Infants

Br Med J 1971; 4 doi: (Published 27 November 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:516
  1. M. A. Chadd,
  2. P. C. Elwood,
  3. O. P. Gray,
  4. S. M. Muxworthy


    Blood clotting was examined in 24 consecutive full-term newborn infants with hypoxia and 23 normal control infants. There was evidence of a gross alteration in the clotting process in the hypoxic infants. The degree of disturbance in clotting seemed to be dependent on the severity of the hypoxia, suggesting a causal relationship. The mechanism involved seemed to be intravascular coagulation. The consumption of clotting factors involved led to the appearance of a haemorrhagic diathesis. This effect seemed to be of short duration, suggesting that direct liver damage plays at most a minor part.

    Though there was no evidence of damage in the infants who survived, it is possible that intravascular coagulation induced by hypoxia, by leading to deposition of fibrin, may cause damage to vital organs. Further studies will be required to examine this possibility.