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Acute effects of two different doses of magnesium sulphate in infants with birth asphyxia.
  1. M. Levene,
  2. M. Blennow,
  3. A. Whitelaw,
  4. E. Hankø,
  5. V. Fellman,
  6. R. Hartley
  1. Division of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Leeds, General Infirmary.


    The effects of two different doses of magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) were evaluated in a group of 15 full term infants with Apgar scores of < 6 at 10 minutes, studied within 12 hours of delivery. Seven infants received 400 mg/kg MgSO4 and eight received 250 mg/kg. After the larger dose, mean arterial pressure (MAP) fell by a mean of 6 mm Hg (13%) at one hour but was not significantly reduced thereafter. Respiratory depression lasted three to six hours. EEG readings and heart rate were not significantly different. Mean serum Mg2+ increased from 0.79 to 3.6 mmol/l at one hour. After 250 mg/kg MgSO4, MAP, EEG, tone and heart rate were unchanged. One infant developed transient respiratory depression. Mean serum Mg2+ rose from 0.71 to 2.42 mmol/l at one hour. MgSO4 (400 mg/kg) has an unacceptable risk of hypotension; 250 mg/kg MgSO4 was not associated with hypotension although respiratory depression can occur.

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