20 Ways How to Treat Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns
Pulmonary hypertension is when the blood vessels in your baby’s body are not working properly. To be specific, they don’t open up like they’re supposed to.
That causes a lack of blood flow inside the body of your baby. It highly makes your baby sick and in serious danger as it is not receiving an adequate amount of oxygen.
The good thing is that the medical world can help in making your baby better through these 20 Ways How to Treat Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns.
However, first, let’s know the causes and the effects from the disease so you can understand what your newborn is going through.
Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension
- Lung Infection
- Chest Infection
- Meconium Aspiration
Effects from Pulmonary Hypertension
- Short Breath
- Blue Hands and Feet
Treating the Condition
As for the treatments, here are some of the most common ones:
Your newborn should undergo echocardiogram as soon as possible. It’s an ultrasound that can tell the condition of your baby’s heart. Through the ultrasound, doctors can see how the blood vessels are. It’s a step towards getting the right diagnosis.
2. Keeping the Body Warm
The body of a newborn with pulmonary hypertension must be kept at the right temperature. The baby has to be warm. It can’t be exposed to a temperature that is too cold or too hot. Warmth is important to make the newborn’s condition get better.
Also read Natural Ways to Get Rid of Baby Hiccups
3. Constant Monitoring
Your newborn will be put under constant monitoring. Your doctor and nurses will work around the clock to ensure that your baby is getting the best treatment. Monitoring will involve placing a small plaster on your baby’s foot or hand. There will be information displayed on the screens to make monitoring easier.
4. Providing Nutritions
Nutrition is also crucial in improving your newborn’s health. Most of the nutritions are going to be given through drips. There will be liquids containing the right amount of amino acid and calcium. Nutritional support will ensure that your baby will be strong enough to pull through.
5. Breathing Machine
A breathing machine might be given to help your newborn breathe. The ventilator will make it easy for the baby to inhale oxygen. It will give the newborn a lot of rest as it won’t need to exert a lot of energy. Other than that, your baby will be receiving the maximum amount of oxygen possible.
6. Increased Sleeping Time
Sleep will help the newborn to rest and allow its organs to heal. The baby won’t move around so much as well. Most of the machines that are connected to the newborn will cause a lot of pain. Doctors might give some medicines to help the newborn to sleep.
Another breathing machine that will help the baby to breathe is called the oscillator. It enables the baby to have oxygen come into and out the lungs. The whole process is very quick. Unfortunately, the machine tends to be very noisy. That’s why it’s important for the newborn to sleep so that it won’t be bothered.
8. Supplying Nitric Oxide
Nitric oxide is also given by the doctor to the baby. It is simply a mixture of both oxygen and nitrogen. The mixture is inserted into the breathing machine. The lungs of the newborn will receive it. Nitric oxide helps to allow more blood to flow into the lungs as the vessels are opened up.
9. Increase Blood Pressure
Sometimes, the blood pressure of the newborn needs to be increased. It will help the heart to functions properly. A medicine called Inotropes is given through a drip for the baby. It will help the heart to work better in supplying more blood for the lungs.
10. Reduce Stimulation
Another common treatment is placing the newborn in an environment that is low is stimulation. This will mean that the eyes and the ears of the baby might have to be covered. Reducing stimulation will ensure that the baby is resting peacefully.
11. Feeding Milk
Feeding milk is possible even though your newborn is not fully awake. Your nurses will help you with the process. You may choose to give breast milk or formula milk. Nonetheless, the milk will be given through a feeding tube. The tube goes into the nose of your newborn. The milk will pass through the throat and into its stomach. Breastmilk has a lot of benefits though, it can help you in knowing how to stop a pink eye for baby.
12. Cardiac Intensive Care Unit
In case things aren’t looking up, your baby might be moved into the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. It could happen as the newborn’s oxygen level is not normal yet. During the intensive care, the newborn will undergo a treatment with a special machine. The machine will add more oxygen into the blood without relying on the lungs.
A treatment that doctors will do for newborn with pulmonary hypertension is to give it an X-ray. The results of the X-ray can further give insights into what’s happening with the baby’s lungs. Alongside the X-ray, your doctor might also do a blood test. It will help to prevent any potential infection that will harm your newborn.
Antibiotics are also given to the newborn. Your doctor will often give them through the drip that is connected to the hand or the foot of the baby. The antibiotics are important for the baby’s immunity. They can also make your newborn gain more strength to fight off infections.
Sugar is also given to the newborn. It’s a source of energy that your baby will need. The sugar is given in fluid form by using a drip. The level of sugar that your baby will receive is monitored at all time.
You may also want to read on How to Treat Thalassemia during Pregnancy.
More Treatments (16-20)
These are some more treatments that doctors usually do:
- Weaning: Slowly removing the aid machines as the baby continues to get better.
- Morphine: Helps the newborn to go through the pain during the treatments.
- Muscle Relaxant: Used by doctors when morphine doesn’t work.
- Steroids: Help in blood circulation in the baby’s body.
- Sedation: Makes baby to calm down while receiving treatment.
Things to Consider
Pulmonary hypertension in newborns is a serious condition. Stick with your doctor and nurses for advice and treatments. This condition has a high chance on affecting your child as he grows up. It’s always important to report any sudden changes in your child’s health. At times, the disease can be severe and your child may need a long-term medications.
As difficult as the disease can be, there are plenty of supports out there for you. Your family don’t have to face this alone.