You may have heard the term blue baby syndrome; it is often referred to a newborn whose skin turns blue due to lack of oxygenated blood flow. In this particular condition – pulmonary hypertension, the baby’s vessels are not wide enough for adequate circulation.
Let’s dig in deeper for more information.
PPHN – Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Neonate
PPHN is a serious breathing condition that affects newborns. Usually, it is seen in full-term babies or those born at 34 weeks or more. Such newborns often have different breathing conditions, which may make normal living a bit difficult.
What Causes PPHN?
The mother’s placenta delivers oxygen to the baby during the gestational period. In that period, the vessels of the lungs are not fully open; therefore, with the virtue of nature, very little blood goes to the lungs.
It is after birth the first cry when these blood vessels pop open to let the blood flow towards the lungs to get oxygen.
This condition occurs when these vessels do not fully open up, limiting the amount of oxygen sent to the brain and other organs.
PPHN – Risk Factors
- Meconium aspiration – taking in their bowel matter before birth.
- Oxygen deprivation before or at the time of birth.
- Lung or blood infection.
- Mother who has diabetes.
The main purpose is to establish increased oxygen flow and maintain healthy levels in the blood, pop open the vessels of the lungs, and maintain normal blood pressure. All this is achievable through oxygen, medicines, and fluids.
A nasal cannula (small tube) is put inside their nostrils and hooked up to an oxygen tank.
Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine gently forces air or oxygen into the lungs.
A ventilator breathes for your baby until it can do so independently. This is done via a breathing tube down their windpipe, namely the intubation tube.
High-frequency oscillation ventilation delivers rapid, short bursts of air through the tube.
Medicines and Fluids
This is done via an intravenous catheter (IV). The medicines and fluids are delivered with the help of a small, flexible tube put into the blood vessels.
This IV tube may be placed in either the umbilical cord or it is a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC line). This line goes from the arms or legs and stops in a large blood vessel near the heart.
Types of medicines:
- BP medications to control blood pressure at the right level.
- Antibiotics help in the treatment or prevent infection.
- Sedatives help in making your baby calm and well-rested.
- Surfactants aid in the functionality of the lungs; they help them perform better. Such drugs let the lungs use oxygen and flow out carbon dioxide.
Lung doctors from Pulmonary Medical Consultants can help you a great deal in not only understanding your situation but also providing a proper treatment plan. We are located at 27721 State Highway 249, Suite 300, Tomball, TX 77375. Dial (281) 357-1300 to connect with us right away.