Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Of The Newborn

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a serious condition that affects some babies shortly after they are born. It occurs when the baby's blood pressure in the lungs remains high, preventing them from getting enough oxygen. Left untreated, PPHN can be fatal. Fortunately, with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment, most babies recover quickly and completely. This website provides information on PPHN to help patients understand the condition and what steps are available to treat it.

What are the different types of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborn (PPHN)?

There are four main types of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns. Type I is associated with a lack of oxygen in the mother's womb during pregnancy, and type II is caused by the baby's lungs not developing properly during gestation. Type III occurs when there is a lack of surfactant, a substance produced by the baby’s lungs that helps them to remain open, and type IV involves other causes such as infection or congenital heart defects.

When should one see a doctor for PPHN?

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn should be seen by a doctor immediately if a baby is having difficulty breathing, has been born prematurely, or shows signs of rapid breathing, such as grunting or retractions. Additionally, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if the baby's lips and skin turn blue or if it is feeding poorly and not gaining weight. Furthermore, any changes in the colour or tone of the skin and/or periods of apnea should also be investigated promptly.

How can one prevent PPHN?

Preventative measures can include regular prenatal checkups and tests, which should identify any potential risk factors; avoiding smoking, alcohol, or drug use during pregnancy; maintaining a healthy weight; and taking prescribed medications as advised by a doctor. Additionally, delivering the baby in a hospital with appropriate neonatal intensive care facilities is essential for detecting and treating persistent pulmonary hypertension in the newborn.

Who qualifies for PPHN?

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a rare type of lung disorder that affects newborn babies. It may occur if the baby does not adapt to breathing in the air after birth and continues to circulate blood as if it were still in the womb. Babies born prematurely, those with low birth weight, or those with an infection are more likely to develop PPHN. Additionally, those with certain genetic disorders, such as trisomy 18 and congenital heart defects, are at greater risk. PPHN can also be caused by medications taken during pregnancy, such as certain anti-seizure drugs.

When would a doctor recommend the procedure for PPHN?

Patients may be advised to seek medical assistance if their newborn is showing signs of persistent pulmonary hypertension. This is because persistent pulmonary hypertension can cause serious lung and heart complications, which must be monitored closely and treated immediately. In most cases, doctors will recommend that a diagnosis be conducted within the first week of birth to identify the condition and begin treatment as soon as possible. Early detection and management are essential for reducing the risk of long-term damage or death.

What are the benefits of the procedure for PPHN?

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) can have several benefits. These include improved oxygenation levels in babies, a decrease in the need for mechanical ventilation, an increase in survival rates, and an improvement in overall quality of life. Additionally, PPHN can reduce the duration of hospital stays as well as associated costs. Finally, it can also reduce long-term complications by addressing any underlying problems that could lead to further respiratory distress.

What is the post-surgical course & recovery period for the procedure for PPHN?

Following surgery for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, a patient typically requires several days in the neonatal intensive care unit. During this time, vital signs and oxygen levels are closely monitored, and medication is given to maintain blood pressure. In most cases, patients can return home within 1–2 weeks after surgery. Recovery time depends on the severity of the condition and may require follow-up visits or additional medications.

What is the follow-up period for the procedure for PPHN?

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) requires long-term follow-up by a multidisciplinary team. The initial assessment usually takes place within the first 48 hours, followed by regular assessments at intervals of one to two weeks for six months. After this period, assessments should be scheduled annually for life. Patients may need to attend more frequently if any complications arise.


Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) services offered by fertility clinics typically include a multidisciplinary team of specialists, such as obstetricians, neonatologists, and cardiologists. Diagnostic tests are conducted to assess the severity of PPHN, including a chest X-ray, echocardiogram, blood gas analysis, and ECG. Treatment options may include oxygen therapy, inhaled medications to relax the lungs and improve blood flow, diuretics to reduce fluid in the lungs, and nitric oxide therapy to open up the vessels in the lungs. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Follow-up care is also available post-treatment, with regular check-ups to monitor progress.

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1. What are some common signs and symptoms of PPHN?

Common signs and symptoms of PPHN include rapid breathing, bluish tinting of the skin, poor feeding, a heart murmur, and low oxygen levels in blood tests.

2. What are some risk factors for PPHN?

Risk factors for PPHN include maternal smoking, being born before 37 weeks gestation, being born large for gestational age, having a family history of PPHN or congenital heart disease, having a maternal fever during labour, and certain medications taken by pregnant mothers.

3. How is PPHN diagnosed?

The diagnosis of PPHN typically includes physical exams to check vital signs and listen to the baby's heart and lungs, as well as blood tests to check oxygen levels in the baby's blood. X-rays may also be used to examine the baby’s lungs more closely, or an echocardiogram may be conducted if a heart defect is suspected.

4. What causes PPHN?

PPHN can be caused by several factors, such as congenital heart defects, infections in the mother or baby during pregnancy or labour, maternal drug use during pregnancy, and meconium aspiration syndrome.

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