What is the transient tachypnea of the newborn? also known as (TTN)
It is a medical term for a newborn baby who breathes very quickly because there is too much fluid in his lungs.
What is the cause?
While inside the mother, the baby’s lungs are usually full of fluid. The process of labor and vaginal delivery tightens the chest wall preparing the lungs for the first breath. After birth, the baby takes its first breath and the lungs fill with air, replacing the fluid, where the blood absorbs the lung fluid , or the baby coughs up the fluid. Some babies have extra fluid or absorb the fluid too slowly making the baby breathe faster and with greater difficulty than normal. Babies born by caesarean section, or babies born after quick jobs are more likely to have transient tachypnea of the newborn. It is also more common in babies born to mothers with diabetes.
What are the symptoms?
This excess fluid shortly after birth causes the baby to:
- Breathe fast (more than 60 times per minute)
- Pulls on the wall of your chest with each breath
- They present a bluish tinge around the lips, because the baby needs extra oxygen.
How is it diagnosed?
It is usually diagnosed based on the baby’s appearance and the way his breathing sounds. The baby can also have a chest x-ray or blood gas test. This can help the doctor determine if the baby has transient Tachypnea and if supplemental oxygen is needed. Other laboratory tests can be done to make sure that respiratory problems are not caused by anything other than TTN.
In a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A baby who has breathing problems will remain in the NICU, the baby joins the monitors that constantly measure heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen. Babies with transient tachypnea may need a small amount of extra oxygen
Intravenous fluids. If the baby breathes more than 60 to 80 times per minute or is working hard to breathe, fluids and nutrition are given intravenously. As soon as the breathing rate is normal, the nurse will be allowed to feed the baby.
Intra Venous Antibiotics. In all newborns with respiratory problems, it is suspected that they have an infection. Babies are often given intravenous antibiotics until the blood and X-ray tests show there is no infection. This usually takes 48 to 72 hours.
How long will it last?
The babies have TTN usually recover completely within 12 to 24 hours after birth, but can take up to 72 hours. There are no lasting side effects.