Aspiration pneumonia in newborns

Aspiration pneumonia in newborns develops rapidly and, in the absence of therapeutic measures, leads to severe lung damage. It is necessary to understand the symptoms of this disease and the features of its prevention in order to prevent complications.

Causes of the disease

Aspiration pneumonia in newborns develops when the contents of the stomach, nasopharynx and oral cavity enter the lower respiratory tract. A foreign body, entering the respiratory system, subsequently leads to inflammation. Its nature depends on the number of particles and the state of human health.

Doctors identify the following causes of the disease:

  • infectious diseases of the oral cavity: caries, pulpitis;
  • disturbances of consciousness;
  • ingestion of gastric juice into the esophagus;
  • violation of the patency of the esophagus;
  • neurological diseases;
  • lung infarction;
  • frequent vomiting;
  • obstruction of the bronchi.

In childhood , this is dangerous due to the peculiarities of the anatomy of their respiratory system. In particular, their bronchi and trachea are much narrower than that of an adult. In newborns, the disease can appear at the time of feeding, when milk accidentally gets into the respiratory tract.

Clinical manifestations

The disease does not develop immediately. Several days may pass from the moment foreign particles enter. In the early stages, the temperature in a newborn is kept around 37 degrees, he is worried about a dry cough, which does not bring relief. When a foreign body is coughing up, it goes deeper into the bronchi, injuring them and provoking swelling. As a result, the patient accumulates a secret, in which pathogenic microflora begins to develop.

The following symptoms are found in a newborn baby:

  • cyanosis of the skin;
  • intermittent breathing;
  • underweight;
  • tachycardia;
  • fever;
  • weakness.

Normally, a newborn baby takes 40-60 breaths per minute, and a deviation from these indicators can be a symptom of aspiration pneumonia. Laboratory blood tests show severe anemia. With the progression of the disease, the patient begins to cough up foam with impurities of blood and pus, which indicates pulmonary edema. In the future, the pathological process in children can cause respiratory arrest.

If aspiration pneumonia is caused by bacteria, the newborn is worried about a wet cough. His temperature rises to 38 degrees. If the disease is provoked by chemicals, the baby shows signs of intoxication. He coughs up pink phlegm, and the skin becomes cyanotic. When listening to the chest , there is a rapid heartbeat.

Diagnostic procedures

There is no specific diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia in children . The pediatrician may suspect her if the newborn has the signs described above. The child must take a blood test to determine the number of leukocytes and erythrocytes in it, and also examine its gas composition. A newborn child with suspected aspiration pneumonia is also examined by a pulmonologist, otolaryngologist, neurologist and gastroenterologist. At the next stage, a bacteriological examination of the child’s sputum is carried out. With this type of pneumonia, intestinal bacteria are present in it. X-ray shows the exact localization of inflammation.

Healing procedures

If a newborn child detects symptoms of this type of pneumonia, you need to call an ambulance. Therapy is carried out in a clinical setting, since complications begin very abruptly. Depending on the severity of the disease, the duration of treatment is from two weeks to 2 months.

A newborn baby needs to be given plenty of fluids at a body temperature of up to 37.5 degrees. This helps prevent dehydration. It is recommended to add Rehydron or other drugs for this purpose to the water. If the indicator is higher, antipyretic is taken.

Pus from the lungs, along with necrotic areas, is removed with the help of an operation. After that, drainage is installed. If a foreign body is found in the child’s lungs or bronchi, it must be removed. Of the therapeutic measures, oxygen therapy is practiced. In case of severe damage to the respiratory system, the patient is intubated or artificially ventilated.

The child is prescribed anti-inflammatory and immunostimulating drugs. Antibiotics are used only after determining the sensitivity of microorganisms found in the respiratory organs to them. With the chemical origin of the disease, they are not effective. In the therapy of newborns, macrolides are used, and with severe lung damage , also penicillins.

With a timely visit to a doctor and following his recommendations, the child will quickly recover. In advanced cases, 20% of patients die.

Disease prevention

To prevent the development of aspiration pneumonia in a child, it is necessary to pay sufficient attention to oral hygiene.

If a child develops a cough and a high fever, you should immediately consult a doctor for treatment. Since the disease is most often provoked by problems with the digestive system and the nervous system, parents should take therapeutic measures to eliminate these pathologies in the infant.

A huge role in prevention is played by the correct attachment of the newborn baby to the breast, about which the mother will be consulted in the maternity hospital.


If breathing disorders are found in a newborn child, it is necessary to consult a doctor in order to exclude aspiration pneumonia. If the diagnosis is confirmed, treatment is started as early as possible. In this case, the forecast will be favorable. Ignoring the signs of pathology leads to serious complications and can lead to the death of the baby.


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