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Inhaled Nitric Oxide Therapy in the Near-Term or Term Neonate with Hypoxic Respiratory Failure

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Inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) has altered the management strategy for treating near-term and term infants with hypoxic respiratory failure (HRF) There is a strong relationship between HRF and persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). PPHN is characterized by elevated pulmonary resistance, pulmonary vasoconstriction, and altered vascular reactivity. The resulting high pulmonary pressure may lead to HRF, which is defined as a relative deficiency of oxygen in arterial blood and insufficient minute ventilation. iNO improves oxygenation and decreases the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Although iNO therapy is effective, its efficacy can depend on the fine points of its use and on other care the infant is receiving. Even in NICUs that do not have iNO available, those who care for term infants with HRF must be familiar with its use and know when and how to transfer these infants and how to help families through this difficult period. Because iNO therapy will probably be used more frequently in nurseries over the next few years, more information on the safety and efficacy of its use in the broader neonatal population needs to be available.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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