Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn

Also known as: TTN, wet lungs.

What is transient tachypnea of the newborn?

Transient tachypnea of the newborn is a self-limiting, temporary breathing problem that occurs in full term (and near full term premature) newborn babies starting shortly after birth and lasting up to 3 days.

What causes transient tachypnea of the newborn?

During intrauterine life the baby’s lungs are filled with fluid. Usually with birth most of the lung fluid is removed fairly rapidly. Transient tachypnea of the newborn is a result of a delay in the fetal fluid removal. It occurs more frequently in infants born by Cesarean section or in babies delivered without labor to a mother with diabetes mellitus.

What are the symptoms of transient tachypnea of the newborn?

Along with rapid breathing (without much distress) transient tachypnea of the newborn can cause a bluish color of skin, lips, tongue and nails from lack of oxygen, flaring of nostrils, grunting, and rib retractions.

What are transient tachypnea of the newborn care options?

Supportive care includes supplemental oxygen, (occasionally other breathing support mechanisms may be needed), intravenous fluids and feedings through a tube placed into the stomach until the baby’s breathing rate is slow enough for the infant to feed normally be mouth.


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: November 18, 2021 04:54 PM

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