For the newborn infant, it is a great challenge that through the mouth to separate in the pharynx the air breathed in through the nose and milk sucked in. They always swallow air and get it wrong. What is more, they get it wrong and inhale milk on occasion. It is obvious that the latter is more dangerous and any effort must be made to anticipate and prevent it.
Between preterm babies and full term babies, aspiration of feeds is quite an usual occurrence with a neurological matter. Those with structural anomalies of mouth, oesophagus, and nose are specially at risk. For instance, choanal atresia, oesphageal atresis and cleft palate.
Thus, considerable nursing judgement and skill are needed in order to manage those babies. Moreover, a nasojejunal feeding tube might be required.
Asphyxia will provoke mature infants to make vigorous efforts to breathe in during birth. Once the baby’s head is in the birth canal surrounded by blood, vernix, and meconium, or once there is meconium in the amniotic fluid, those tenacious substances might be drawn into the upper airway, next into the respiratory tree. They may lead to patches of lung collapse, and other parts of over-inflation, as a ball value effect of the meconium plug permitting air in rather than out.
The infants might have dangerous respiratory matters for several days. What is more, pneumomediastinum and pneumothorax are common complications .Oxygen will be required. Supportive ventilation is hard.
Here is a new useful technique. It’s ECMO. Namely extra-corpoteal membrane oxygenation, it can help the most seriously affected babies.