Doctors! Can you help me with a question?

Madonna’s baby is in intensive care, and I would like to know how the baby’s current problems (respiratory, liver and kidney), are related to abruptio placenta, which caused his premature birth via emergency C-section.
How much damage could be caused to the infant? How does oxygen deprivation affect the organs mentioned above? Will he recover fully? How likely is it that he has brain damage?

This is scary. I have so many questions, and I don’t know where to find the answers. What To Expect When You’re Expecting has a section on abruptio placenta, but it doesn’t mention the effect on the infant afterwards.

That links (or being pointed in the direction of a link, you don’t actually have to find the site for me), would be appreciated.

I’m not a doc, but I was an ICU nurse for years. The questions you’re asking have no hard-and-fast answers. Oxygen deprivation is usually the key variable: extent and duration. Was oxygen deprivation complete or partial, how long did it last, was there a period of partial oxygen deprivation followed by complete deprivation (or vice-versa)? Effects on organs often coincide with the extent of the oxygen deprivation. The brain is the organ most sensitive to insult, but other organs (heart, lungs, liver, kidneys) can suffer injury from hypoxia. Injury can range from transient dysfunction to organ failure. With premature infants, another complicating factor may be the maturity of the lungs, specifically the lungs’ ability to produce surfactant. Surfactant is a substance that keep the grape cluster-like air sacs from collapsing and sticking together. Insufficient surfactant production greatly increases the likelihood of respiratory complications, particularly Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
On the upside, infants are remarkably resilient, and a far better able to recover from injury/insult, particularly to the brain, than is an adult.

A few Web sites with articles on neonatal asphyxia are below. The second one appears to be in prepublication, and the formatting of tables leaves something to be desired.
The discussion of long-term outcome is pretty much the same: depends on extent of injury and speed of appropriate interventions, need to wait and see.

Depending on just how much research you’re up for, you can go to Grateful Med and click on Medline to search for journal articles. At best, you will only find an abstract for a given article. It’s off to the library to get the full article.

Hope this helps

Shaky Jake

I babysat for a woman who died from that same condition. It’s pretty scary.

As for the rest, I have no idea…I’m guessing that it’s good that he made it to 37 weeks, which isn’t really premature at all (IIRC 37-42 weeks is considered a normal pregnany). And I’m sure he’s getting the finest care possible.

Poor little guy. I’m not a Madonna fan, but I nobody deserves this.

Thank you very much for taking the time to give me all that information, Shaky Jake. It was very kind of you. My University biology classes certainly helped with all the terminology!

And thanks for your kind thoughts, tatertot. It surprises me how much humanity people are showing towards Madonna, now that she is in crisis.