Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Of The Newborn

PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn) is a health condition in a baby when his or her PVR (Pulmonary Vascular Resistance) experiences abnormal elevation after birth. As a result, the blood shunts from right to left.
Because of this, this condition can lead to serious hypoxemia, which might not be helped by normal breathing aids. In this condition, the baby is deprived of sufficient oxygen after the delivery.

Symptoms of PPHN

Some of the signs and symptoms that indicate a baby is suffering from persistent pulmonary hypertension are as follows:

  • Rapid breathing and a faster heart rate
  • Making moaning or grunting sounds while breathing
  • Skin retractions under or between the ribs while breathing
  • Lips and the area around the mouth turn blue.
  • Blood carries a low amount of oxygen.
  • Low blood pressure

What Causes Newborn Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension?

While a mother is pregnant, the baby gets all the necessary oxygen from the mother's placenta. It is an organ within the womb that connects to the umbilical cord. It becomes a pathway for the baby to get oxygen and all the nutrients from the mother’s blood to that of the baby.

The blood or pulmonary vessels within the baby’s lungs are closed until the baby is born. In this case, the blood will bypass the lung and directly flow to other body parts. But when a baby is born and takes its first breath, the pulmonary or blood vessels should open automatically, allowing the blood to flow through the lungs too. In the process, the blood should acquire oxygen from the air the baby naturally breathes.

However, PPHN prevents the pulmonary vessels from properly opening at birth if the baby has it. As a result, complications arise. Too much blood will bypass the lungs, which will deprive the body and brain of oxygen.

When Should I See a Doctor?

Your baby will often show worrying symptoms right after birth, indicating that the operating doctor should immediately diagnose the newborn and start treatments. But if you want to seek better and more effective treatment for your baby’s condition, you can book an appointment with the specialists at one of your city's best hospitals.

Risk Factors Associated with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in the Newborn

There are potential risk factors that trigger the PPHN condition, which include:

  • Before birth, they breathed during their bowel movements.
  • Oxygen deprivation during or before birth
  • A blood or lung infection
  • abnormal development of the lungs or heart
  • I was born to a diabetic mother.

Possible Complications of PPHN

If PPHN goes untreated in a baby due to mild symptoms, it might cause serious complications in the long run.

  • Stroke
  • Heart failure
  • Hearing deficits
  • Brain haemorrhage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Seizures
  • Pulmonary disease
  • Oxygen dependence

Remedies or Treatment for Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborns

There are possible ways to treat your baby's pulmonary hypertension so that he or she can get better. But the treatments should begin immediately. You might need to put your baby on a ventilator for some time to ease the breathing problem for him or her.

Apart from that, a nasal cannula or CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) might also be used to meet the baby's oxygen needs. Aside from treatments, your doctor may also educate you on some aftercare tips to help your child recover faster.

So, make sure you contact the best doctors with expertise in dealing with persistent pulmonary hypertension.


Persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn is a critical condition that poses a big risk to an infant's life. There are adequate solutions for babies to recover from this condition, but it needs strenuous procedures and rapid decision-making. Therefore, make sure the doctors you choose for treating your baby’s condition are experienced and highly skilled in handling such sensitive problems.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Brookefield. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What methods do doctors use for diagnosing the PPHN condition?

The common methods doctors use for diagnosing the severity of PPHN are X-rays, pulse oximeter tests, blood tests, and echocardiogram tests. An echocardiogram is a painless test that gives a picture of blood and heart vessels for doctors to determine blood flow within the body. Oxygen levels, the size of the heart, and changes in the number of blood cells are also observed.

2. Is PPHN common in both full-term and premature babies?

Yes, PPHN can occur in babies who are full-term as well as those who are prematurely born at 34 weeks. These babies will experience mild, moderate, or severe breathing problems.

3. How long does it take for a baby to recover from PPHN?

It takes a few weeks for a baby to fully recover from the breathing problems associated with PPHN.

4. What care should one take for a baby with PPHN?

First, doctors and parents should take proper care of babies to prevent them from catching colds or flu-related health conditions. It might worsen their breathing flow and increase the rate of complications.

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