Definition of asphyxia in English:


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  • A condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death; suffocation.

    ‘They were transferred to our neonatal intensive care unit with a presumptive diagnosis of perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘Until recently, it was widely believed that asphyxia (lack of oxygen) during a difficult delivery was the cause of most cases of cerebral palsy.’
    • ‘The remaining cases included asphyxia, aspiration, sepsis, and unknown cause.’
    • ‘The patient had a history of perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘Substantial increases were noted for deaths due to asphyxia, sudden infant death syndrome, infection, and external causes.’
    • ‘The cause of death was asphyxia and blunt force injuries.’
    • ‘Similarly, many instances of intrapartum asphyxia resulting in stillbirth were of babies who were already growth restricted.’
    • ‘Perinatal asphyxia is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in the neonatal period.’
    • ‘About one case will be associated with genuine perinatal asphyxia.’
    • ‘While asphyxia during delivery still causes some fetal deaths, it is not a common cause of these losses.’
    • ‘In the United States and more developed regions of the world, trained health care professionals can rapidly take steps to treat asphyxia.’
    • ‘A post-mortem examination established the cause of death was asphyxia.’
    • ‘The most serious acute consequence of inhalant abuse is death, which usually occurs secondary to aspiration, accidental trauma, or asphyxia.’
    • ‘The final death certificate that came from the Pentagon some time later said it was death by asphyxia and is being investigated as a homicide.’
    • ‘The cause of death was asphyxia and a blood alcohol level showed he was just over the legal drink drive limit.’
    • ‘No concurrent or contributory cause of the brain damage is established, the only candidate apart from birth asphyxia being some prenatal pathology.’
    • ‘These babies are malnourished and are prone to asphyxia before and during labour.’
    • ‘In old times it used to be given as an injection for such conditions as cerebral concussion and asphyxia from drowning.’
    • ‘An autopsy indicated the man died from blunt force injuries and asphyxia.’
    • ‘It lists these as birth asphyxia, birth trauma and low birth weight - the conditions that arise in the perinatal period.’



/aˈsfiksēə/ /æˈsfɪksiə/


Early 18th century (in the sense ‘stopping of the pulse’): modern Latin, from Greek asphuxia, from a- ‘without’ + sphuxis ‘pulse’.