Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
Rapid Breathing :: Rapid Heart Rate :: Respiratory Distress
Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a serious, often fatal condition that affects newborn babies. PPHN limits the amount of blood flowing to an infant's lungs and the amount of oxygen entering the bloodstream.
PPHN may result from a problem during delivery or another condition (e.g., possibly SSRI’s like Paxil) that affects the lungs or oxygen supply to the baby in the womb or during childbirth. PPHN occurs in approximately one or two in 1,000 babies, typically in term or near-term deliveries. Symptoms usually appear within 12 hours after birth.
In a developing fetus, blood is circulated through the placenta and umbilical cord. It is through the placenta, not the lungs, that carbon dioxide is removed from the blood and replaced with oxygen. The pulmonary artery then carries the oxygenated blood directly to the fetal heart.
In a baby with PPHN, however, this "switch" fails to take place. The baby breathes, but his blood does not reach the lungs for the oxygen-carbon dioxide exchange. The pressure in the lungs increases and the blood's failure to deliver needed oxygen throughout the body places a severe stress on vital organs.
For more on PPHN, please follow this link .
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