The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) recently published a new resource about persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN).
PPHN occurs when blood vessels in the lungs don’t open fully at birth, preventing adequate blood flow to the brain and body. Before birth, babies get most oxygen through the placenta. The blood vessels in the lungs are closed until a baby takes its first breath at birth.
The handout is intended to educate health care providers and parents about the condition, risks and treatment. Risk factors include certain tissue and fluid buildup, respiratory distress syndrome and diaphragmatic hernia.
Sometimes PPHN resolves on its own. Other times, babies need medical intervention to help them recover. Those interventions include PH medications, nitric oxide and a blood oxygenation system called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.