Kelly de la Rocha
Transient tachypnea is a very fast breathing rate. It happens in newborns that have too much fluid in their lungs. The fluid limits the amount of oxygen these newborns pull into their lungs. As a result, the baby needs to breathe at a faster rate to get enough oxygen.
Babies born with this condition usually recover within three days of birth. Transient tachypnea can be easily treated but will need care from a doctor.
During pregnancy, a baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. Chemical signals just before birth will start to clear the fluid out of the lung. Then physical pressures during labor and birth will push more fluid out. After birth, the baby may also cough some of the fluid out of the lungs. The baby's first breaths should clear out any remaining fluid. Some newborns are not able to clear enough fluid from their lungs. The fluid blocks some oxygen from moving from the lungs to the blood. The low levels of oxygen causes transient tachypnea.
Fluid might not clear from lungs quickly enough if
Factors that may increase your baby’s chance of developing transient tachypnea include:
These symptoms may be caused by transient tachypnea or other health conditions. Talk to you doctor if your baby has any of these symptoms:
The doctor will look at your pregnancy and labor history. A physical exam of your baby will be done.
Your doctor may order tests such as:
Transient tachypnea may not be diagnosed until the symptoms go away. This may not be until three
days after birth.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your baby. The main treatment for this condition is supportive care and close monitoring. This may include:
A day or two after birth, the baby’s breathing should improve. By the third day of life, all symptoms of transient tachypnea should disappear.
There are no guidelines for preventing transient tachypnea because the exact cause is not known. There are several things you can do to help give birth to a healthy baby:
American Academy of Pediatrics
March of Dimes
Canadian Pediatrics Society
DynaMed Editorial Team. Transient tachypnea of neonate. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated March 9, 2012. Accessed July 25, 2012.
Transient tachypnea of Newborn. Kids Health Nemours website. Available at:
http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/lungs/ttn.html. Accessed July 25, 2012.
Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. Transient tachypnea of the newborn. Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital website. Available at:
http://www.lpch.org/DiseaseHealthInfo/HealthLibrary/hrnewborn/ttn.html. Accessed July 25, 2012.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Kari Kassir, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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