Perinatal asphyxia is the medical condition resulting from deprivation of oxygen ( hypoxia ) to a newborn infant long enough to cause apparent harm. It results most commonly from a drop in maternal blood pressure or interference during delivery with blood flow to the infant's brain . This can occur as a result of inadequate circulation or perfusion , impaired respiratory effort, or inadequate ventilation .  There has long been a scientific debate over whether newborn infants with asphyxia should be resuscitated with 100% oxygen or normal air.  It has been demonstrated that high concentrations of oxygen lead to generation of oxygen free radicals , which have a role in reperfusion injury after asphyxia.  Research by Ola Didrik Saugstad and others led to new international guidelines on newborn resuscitation in 2010, recommending the use of normal air instead of 100% oxygen.