A little too close to home here, but results of a recent British cohort study suggest that infants who required resuscitation are at increased risk for low IQ scores by 8 years of age.

Significantly, the results were said to be similar for those infants with and without encephalopathy. The theory advanced to explain this is called “continuum of reproductive casualty” meaning that even mild perinatal events may have long term effects on cognition. The study ultimately examined the IQ scores of 5887 children in a British school who were around 8.6 years of age on average.

Up to 14% of neonates may require resuscitation after delivery. Mine did. It should be noted that children delivered more than 8 years ago were more likely to receive 100% oxygen during resuscitation. Such a level of forced oxygenation was associated with poorer outcomes, forcing a practice change. Still, in calling the results “surprising” clinicians have noted some limitations of the study in that only 51% of the original cohort group of 10,609 children were followed to school age (British system school age) and that the mean (average) IQ scores among the resuscitated and asymptomatic children were not different from the control group.

My neonate is currently 5.6 years of age. One to follow.

posted by David Marc Schwadron, Esq.