Fetal to neonatal transition – how does it take place?

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The rapid adaptation of the newborn baby to respiratory, cardiovascular, metabolic and neurological independence is only successful because of a series of evolved critical mechanisms and practised manoeuvres. This article reviews the physiology of these adaptations. It is particularly useful for clinicians to understand the underlying physiology as the treatments for maladaptation are based not only on treating the underlying disease which may be contributing, but also aimed at reversing the abnormal physiological processes. At the bedside, such understanding proves to be invaluable.

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