A new study in the Journal of Pediatrics claims that infants with PPHN are significantly more likely to be readmitted or die within the first year of life. Pulmonary Hypertension News reported on the story.
The study wanted to find out about the morbidity and mortality of infants with PPHN after they’ve been discharged from the hospital. They studied information from California between 2005 and 2012. 7,847 infants were identified, with 68.4% meeting criteria for severe PPHN.
During the first year of life, 29% of infants with PPHN were readmitted to the hospital or died. The rate is 9.9% for infants without PPHN. The data also show that the rates of readmission and death declined nearly 10% over the date range studied.
PPHN has several causes. The cause with the highest readmission rate was a congenital anomaly of the respiratory system. Yet even for temporary causes, like sepsis, having PPHN will still raise the hospital admission rate.
The researchers hope that doctors will use the data to improve the counseling of parents and inform preventive measures.
PPHN happens when the switchover from breathing from the umbilical cord to the lungs happens in an infant. If blood pressure is too high, it means that the arteries to the lungs are still narrowed. This means they cannot deliver enough oxygen to the rest of the body, leading to organ damage.