The breathing of newborns in the first hours of life can be accelerated and made more difficult by a lung condition called transient tachypnea. It is a form of respiratory distress, occurs in more than 1% of children and requires immediate treatment.
How does the transient tachypnea appear?
Before birth, the fetus's lungs are filled with fluids. In the mother's belly, he does not use his lungs to breathe, he receives oxygen through the blood vessels in the placenta. As the date of birth approaches, the lungs begin to drain away of fluids in response to hormonal changes. In the case of children suffering from transient tachypnea, they are not released completely or too slowly. This makes it difficult for the baby to breathe and inhale oxygen into the lungs and forces them to breathe faster and stronger to receive enough oxygen.
What are the causes?
The condition can appear both in the case of children born prematurely, as well as in those born at term and can be diagnosed only after birth. There are risk factors associated with the occurrence of tachypnea:
birth through Caesarean section;
children born to mothers suffering from diabetes;
children born to mothers suffering from asthma;
low birth weight babies.
Signs and symptoms of transient tachypnea
rapid, heavy breathing with more than 60 breaths per minute;
groaned and groaned at the expiration;
chest retractions (when the skin recedes between the ribs and the chest during breathing);
cyanosis (when the skin turns blue) around the mouth and nose.
How is it treated?
Like any newborn with respiratory problems it requires continuous supervision. The small patient is usually taken to the neonatal intensive care unit for additional care. It is connected to various devices that measure heart rate, number of breaths per minute and oxygen level.
Some of the newborns suffering from transient tachypnea may need extra oxygen. If the baby is still struggling to breathe normally even though he or she is already being given oxygen, then positive air pressure may continue to be used to keep the air flowing through the lungs. In this practice, the child carries a special oxygen cannula (a type of tube placed in the nose), and a device continuously pulses a stream of air under pressure in his nose to help keep the lungs open during breathing.
In severe, very rare cases, the child may need artificial ventilation.
Feeding the newborn with transient tachypnea is a problem
Feeding the baby can be a problem in this case in newborns. The child cannot breathe properly and this makes it almost impossible for the act of sucking and swallowing simultaneously with breathing. In this situation, the child is given intravenous fluids to hydrate it and prevent the blood sugar from falling to dangerous levels.
About 24-48 hours after the treatment, the condition of the children with transient tachypnea should improve considerably, even if it returns to normal within maximum 72 hours.