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Neonatal Problems: Primary Pulmonary hypertension

Description

Pulmonary hypertension means that the pressure within the blood vessels of the lung is high, which prevents the normal amount of blood from flowing into the lungs.
In a neonate with primary pulmonary hypertension (PPHN; as known as Persistence of the Foetal Circulation ), the normal changes in the flow of blood following birth do not occur as they should. Instead, the baby's blood continues to circulate as it did before birth. It does this because there is an abnormally large amount of muscle in the tiny blood vessels going to the lungs preventing much blood from flowing into them. It is easier for the blood to continue to flow as it did before birth.

Often the cause of PPHN is unknown but some known reasons for this disorder occurring include: severe underdevelopment of the lungs; meconium aspiration ; certain heart abnormalities.
Symptoms are initially similar to transient tachypnea of the newborn , but instead of rapidly improving, the baby rapidly gets worse, needing higher and higher oxygen to stay pink.
The treatment of PPHN is often difficult and must be tailored to the needs of the baby.

For further, more detailed information on this topic, please refer to the reference source for this page.

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. University of Wisconsin and The Center For Perinatal Care at Meriter Hospital Madison, Wisconsin: http://www.pediatrics.wisc.edu/patientcare/preemies/


Other HON resources 
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Pulmonary hypertension
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Hypertension, Pulmonary
Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome

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Hypertension, Pulmonary
Persistent Fetal Circulation Syndrome
 

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  http://www.hon.ch/Dossier/MotherChild/neonatal_problems/pulmonary_hypertension.html Last modified: Oct 21 2004