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Glossary of Terms

  • Abruption



    A serious complication during pregnancy that occurs when the placental lining separates from the uterus prior to the mother giving birth. Abruption can endanger the life of the baby by depriving it of oxygen and nutrients.
  • Anemia



    A condition that occurs when a patient's blood has too few red blood cells or too little hemoglobin to carry oxygen to the body's cells. Anemia often occurs when a person consumes too little iron or other minerals needed to produce red blood cells. Pregnant women are often iron deficient and experience mild anemia. Severe or untreated anemia during pregnancy can lead to babies to be prematurely and with low birth weights, developmental delays, and/or anemia.
  • Anoxia



    The complete absence of oxygen to an organ or tissue, including the brain.
  • Antepartum



    Just before childbirth.
  • Apgar



    A rating system named for obstetrical anesthesiologist Dr. Virginia Apgar that uses a ten-point scale (with ten being a perfect score) to evaluate the condition of a baby at and near the time of birth, usually at one, five and ten minutes after birth. The criteria evaluated are skin color and complexion, pulse rate, reflexes, muscle tone, and breathing.
  • Asphyxia



    A restriction of oxygen to an organ or tissue, including the brain.
  • Avulsion



    An injury that occurs when a part of the body is forcibly detached from where it is normally attached.
  • Birth Asphyxia

    Birth Asphyxia


    A condition that occurs when a newborn infant is deprived of during the birth process for a long enough time to cause physical harm. The most common and most concerning form of hypoxic damage is to the infant's brain; such damage heals slowly and may not heal completely. Other hypoxic damage can occur in most of the infant's other organs.
  • Brachial Plexus

    Brachial Plexus


    The cluster of nerves that run from the spinal cord through the neck and down into the arm and that provide feeling and control the muscles of the shoulder, arm, and hand.
  • Brain Hemorrhage

    Brain Hemorrhage


    A condition caused by a burst artery in the brain bleeding into the surrounding area and killing brain cells.
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