What is transient tachypnea of the newborn? — Transient tachypnea of the newborn (called “TTN” here) is a condition that causes breathing problems in newborn babies.
Babies have fluid in their lungs before birth. The fluid normally goes away when a baby is born. In some babies, the fluid does not go away as quickly as it should. This causes TTN.
A mother who has diabetes, asthma, or a c-section without labor is more likely to have a baby with TTN. A c-section is also called a “cesarean delivery.” It is a type of surgery used to deliver a baby.
What are the symptoms of TTN? — Symptoms usually happen within 2 hours after birth. They include:
●Fast breathing – More than 60 breaths a minute. This is more than one breath every second.
●Skin that looks blue
●Hard breathing – This can include:
•Nostrils that open wide when the baby takes a breath
•Skin and muscles that look like they are caving in – This can happen between the baby’s ribs or under the baby’s ribcage.
•Grunting when the baby breathes out
Symptoms of TTN usually last 12 to 72 hours.
Is there a test for TTN? — No, there is no single test. The doctor or nurse can often tell if a baby has TTN by doing an exam.
Other conditions can cause breathing problems similar to TTN. These include serious conditions such as pneumonia. The doctor can order a chest X-ray that shows changes in the lungs. Looking at the X-ray can help the doctor learn if a baby has TTN or a different condition.
How is TTN treated? — TTN usually goes away by the time a baby is 3 days old. Until that happens, doctors can help the baby get enough oxygen and nutrition if he or she needs it. Treatments might include:
●Extra oxygen – This helps make sure the baby has enough oxygen in his or her blood.
●Temperature control – This keeps the baby from getting too hot or too cold.
●A feeding tube or “IV” – If the baby has trouble breathing, he or she might not be able to nurse or drink from a bottle. A feeding tube is a small tube that goes into the baby’s mouth or nose, down the throat, and into the stomach. It can be used to put breast milk or formula right into the baby’s stomach.
An IV is a thin tube that goes into a vein. It can carry a sugar mixture into the baby’s bloodstream.
●Antibiotics – These are medicines to keep infections from happening or stop them if they do happen.