The main goal of treatment for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the
newborn (PPHN) is to increase oxygen levels to the baby's organs to avoid
serious health problems. Treatment may include a wide range of mechanical
ventilation and respiratory therapy options, including high frequency
oscillatory ventilation and inhaled nitric oxide.
• Oxygen -- 100 percent supplemental oxygen may be given to your baby through a
mask or plastic hood.
• Assisted Ventilation -- During this procedure, a tube is inserted into your
baby's windpipe and a ventilator takes over your baby's breathing and oxygen is
• Nitric Oxide -- Research has shown that this gas is effective in treating PPHN
because it relaxes contracted lung blood vessels and improves blood flow to the
lungs. It is given through the ventilator.
• High Frequency Oscillatory Ventilation -- This type of ventilation may improve
the oxygen level in the blood if other types of ventilation are not effective.
• Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation -- In addition, an extracorporeal membrane
oxygenation (ECMO) machine may be used for patients who are experiencing serious
heart or lung failure. It delivers oxygen to the brain and body as temporary
support while the PPHN resolves. ECMO is similar to a heart-lung bypass machine,
which takes over your baby's heart and lung functions with an external pump and
oxygenator. Blood is drained from the patient to an artificial lung, where
oxygen is added and carbon dioxide is removed, and then the blood is pumped back
into your child.
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