Pulmonary Hypertension: A Case Study

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Meconium can block the infant’s airway when aspirated, causing hypoxia. Due to the blockage of the air passages, the lungs can hyperinflate or collapse (Ward et al., 2016, p. 737). The pulmonary surfactant that allows for alveolar re- expansion is also affected by the inhalation of meconium, leading to respiratory failure. El Shahed, Dargaville, Ohlsson, & Soll (2014) pointed out that “Meconium inhibits the surface tension-lowering properties of surfactant.” MAS is the most common cause of persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). It occurs when fetal circulation remains after birth due to vascular resistance in the pulmonary system, causing failure of transition to normal adult- type circulation (Ward et al., 2016, p. 738). Systematic reviews have been conducted to test the effectiveness of the interventions of MAS, leading to better clinical outcomes.…show more content…
A low Apgar’s score is also noted due to initial respiratory distress, depending on the amount of meconium aspirated. The nurse would auscultate rales and rhonchi due to the presence of meconium obstructing the airways. With MAS, the lungs are hyperinflated with air, causing barrel- shaped chest (Ward et al., 2016, p. 737). Hyperinflation can be seen through a chest x- ray exam. In addition, “Majority of newborns with MAS develop tachypnea and mild cyanosis within 12 to 24 hours after the birth, which spontaneously disappear within 72 hours” (Mokra et al., 2010, p.
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