Exhaled carbon dioxide in healthy term infants immediately after birth

Georg Marcus Schmolzer, Stuart Brian Hooper, Connie Wong, Camille Omar F Kamlin, Peter G Davis

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23 Citations (Scopus)


To measure exhaled carbon dioxide (ECO2) in term infants immediately after birth. STUDY DESIGN: Infants >37 weeks gestation born at The Royal Women s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia were eligible. A combined flow sensor and mainstream carbon dioxide (CO2) analyzer was placed in series proximal to a facemask to measure ECO2 and tidal volumes in the first 120 seconds after birth. RESULTS: Term infants (n = 20) with a mean (SD) birth weight of 2976 (697) g and gestational age of 38 (2) weeks were included. Infants took a median (range) 3 (1-8) breaths before ECO2 was detected. The median (range) of maximum ECO2 was 51 (40-73) mm Hg at 70 (21-106) seconds after birth. Within the first 10 breaths, CO2 increased from 0-27 (22-34) mm Hg. The median (IQR) tidal volume during the breaths without CO2 was 1.2 (0.8-3.1) mL/kg compared with 7.3 (3.2-10.9) mL/kg during the first 10 breaths where CO2 was exhaled. CONCLUSIONS: The first breaths for an infant after birth did not contain ECO2. With aeration of the distal gas exchange regions, tidal volume and ECO2 significantly increased. ECO2 can be used to monitor lung aeration immediately after birth.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)844-849
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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