Pneumonia in premature babies

Currently, pneumonia is widespread among people of various ages. Basically, it affects a weakened body, as a result of which pneumonia so often occurs in premature babies. It is necessary to find an effective treatment for the child, because the disease often leads to serious consequences and even death.

Pneumonia in a premature baby


By etiology, viral, bacterial and fungal pneumonia in newborns is distinguished. A bacterial infection is sometimes combined with a viral one. According to the severity, mild, moderate and severe forms of pneumonia in premature babies are distinguished. Taking into account the moment of infection, congenital and intrapartum pneumonia are distinguished . Acute and prolonged course of the disease is distinguished, with and without complications.

Main reasons

Inflammation of the lungs in an infant occurs due to:

  • caesarean section;
  • infectious diseases in the mother that affect the respiratory or genitourinary system;
  • difficulties with bearing a baby, leading to asphyxia or hypoxia;
  • genetic diseases of the respiratory tract;
  • malformations in an infant;
  • resuscitation during childbirth;
  • lesions of the baby’s central nervous system, injuries that have affected the brain or spinal cord;
  • improper child care, for example, prolonged stay in the same position, insufficient ventilation of the room, hypothermia, or, on the contrary, overheating of the baby;
  • unsanitary conditions in the maternity hospital.


At first, nonspecific symptoms prevail in the child, which gradually begin to increase. The general condition of the baby is deteriorating, sudden changes in weight are possible due to the occurrence of puffiness. The following signs of pneumonia are also noted:

  • subfebrile or low temperature;
  • sluggish sucking;
  • slowness;
  • bloating;
  • frequent whims;
  • blanching of the skin.

Then breathing disorder is added to these symptoms. The baby’s nostrils swell, breathing becomes more frequent, wheezing, apnea attacks, coughing, tachycardia, sunken ribs, and frothy mucus from the mouth are possible.


To detect pneumonia in a newborn, the following are required:

  1. Laboratory research data. In the presence of a disease, a stab shift is noted in the blood , the number of platelets and leukocytes decreases, and hemoglobin falls. In addition to a clinical blood test, an examination for viruses and bacteria, a blood test for oxygen and carbon dioxide content, and urinalysis are prescribed.
  2. Clinical and immunological characteristics.
  3. Collecting anamnesis.
  4. X-ray examination. The radiograph shows darkening in the inflamed areas.


Pneumonia in children is treated exclusively in a hospital. The baby is in the intensive care unit, and the mother is helping with his care. Suitable conditions must be created for the baby to avoid overheating or hypothermia. Throughout the day, the position of the baby is periodically changed, things should not hinder his movements. The type of feeding and amount of food is determined by the doctor, taking into account the condition of the child. However, parenteral nutrition is most often prescribed. In intensive care, babies receive nutrients through a tube.

The following methods are of particular importance in therapy:

  1. Antibacterial medicines. In the early days, an antibiotic agent for a child is selected blindly, mainly broad-spectrum drugs are used. Upon receipt of the test results, the doctor prescribes the necessary medication, which is injected.
  2. Passive immunization. The baby is injected with plasma, immunoglobulin.
  3. Oxygen therapy . Oxygen is dosed to the child through a catheter, mask or other device.
  4. Other medicines. If necessary, the baby is prescribed medications for the heart, glucocorticoid, bronchodilator probiotic , and other drugs.

Sometimes bronchoscopy is indicated to debride the lungs. Most children are given a special massage.

Taking medications

With pneumonia in a premature baby, it is imperative that treatment is carried out with medicines that strengthen the immune system. In addition, the nurse monitors the baby’s condition: breathing characteristics, temperature, nutrition, response to therapy.

For violations of the cardiovascular system in a newborn, Digoxin is used . Cardiac glycosides help to reduce the systemic circulation and improve the contraction of myocardial fibers.

Euphyllin injections reduce the symptoms of pulmonary hypertension, improve the contraction of the right ventricle.

If the inflammation is accompanied by purulent discharge, Kontrikal Gordox are prescribed .

If children develop obstructive syndrome with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and bronchopneumonia, orciprenaline sulfate aerosols are prescribed .

It is important to pay attention to the restoration of the intestinal microflora in pneumonia, since the child’s body is exposed to numerous drugs. They use Lactobacterin Bifidumbacterin Bactisubtil .

Can i give my child antibiotics?

Antibiotic drugs are prescribed for all forms of pneumonia in babies. With light and medium, they are limited to Penicillin. In severe cases (bilateral pneumonia, lung abscess), a wide spectrum of drugs are prescribed: Oxacillin, Zeporin Sigmamycin Methicillin , Erythromycin, Ristomycin .

If, despite the medications taken, the baby’s disease progresses, it is necessary to supplement the therapy with a new antibiotic agent or change the drugs.


Intrauterine pneumonia is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. The prognosis is most favorable for an infant with diseases of staphylococcal (excluding Staphylococcus aureus) or viral origin.

Survival is significantly reduced when infected with Escherichia coli, enterococci, mycoplasma Bacterial and viral infection poses a serious threat to the newborn . In addition, the incidence of death increases due to complications that arise, such as sepsis.

Duration of treatment

The duration of therapy is on average 3 weeks. How long it will last depends on the severity of the disease, the baby’s immunity , and adherence to the principles of treatment.

Preventive measures

To prevent intrauterine pneumonia, the following factors need to be considered:

  1. The expectant mother should be treated on time.
  2. There must be good sanitary conditions in maternity wards and hospitals.
  3. If the baby was born with asphyxiation, resuscitation is indicated.
  4. Immediately after the birth of the child, you need to attach to the breast and feed.
  5. If a premature baby has breathing disorders and provoking factors (difficult childbirth, mother’s illness), an antibiotic drug is immediately prescribed.
  6. At home, the microclimate, the daily routine of the baby, and hygiene should be monitored.

Possible consequences

After the disease, complications such as pneumothorax, pleurisy, atelectasis may occur. Also, infants often develop otitis media, sclera , malnutrition, hemodynamic and metabolic disorders, bleeding, chronic adrenal insufficiency. One of the most serious complications is sepsis.

A child who has had pneumonia significantly increases the risk of candidiasis, rickets and anemia. Often diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

The therapy should be comprehensive. It is important to treat not the disease in principle, but pneumonia in a particular infant.

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