Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Newborns

How Does It Happen?

Persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns (PPHN) develops when the baby takes in oxygen from the mother and the placenta. The lungs are mostly closed during the time in the mother’s womb. Only after the child has taken their first couple of breaths do the lungs finally open. PPHN occurs if the lungs don’t open as they should, which causes them not to get enough oxygen. That’s one of the reasons that this condition can put your child in so much danger.

How Do They Treat This Condition?

The medical staff’s first goal will be to get your child to keep breathing to treat this birth injury. When your child suffers from PPHN, the oxygen to the lungs will be low. How do doctors treat this birth disorder? First, they will put forward continual monitoring of the blood pressure and the oxygen within the bloodstream. They will also keep the handling of the child to a minimum. They will also try to maintain the normal level of oxygen within the bloodstream. Nutritional support through a good diet will also play a role. Finally, doctors will do their best to keep procedures at the minimally invasive level.

Those are mostly therapeutic interventions. After the medical team has attempted these methods, they will try other interventions. For example, they might use high-frequency oscillatory ventilation, assisted ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), surfactant administration, and nitric oxide.

How This Condition Threatens Your Child

As you can imagine, being unable to breathe threatens the life of your child. It can also lead to the same brain damage that can cause cerebral palsy. If your child stops breathing, you need to respond as quickly as possible. There are other risk factors that can increase the chances that your child will develop PPHN, such as:

  • Meconium aspiration
  • Diaphragmatic hernia
  • Lack of oxygen before or during birth
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

When the lungs don’t open enough, it can cause pressure in the back from fetal circulation. You need to respond as quickly as possible because the longer your child goes without oxygen, the higher your chances of long-term disabilities. This condition has been known to cause problems like ADHD, learning disability, and autism. Infant death can also happen with a severe case of PPHN. To lower the risk of death, doctors need to intervene as soon as possible to prevent death and long-term injury.

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