Successful treatment of ARDS and severe pulmonary hypertension in a child with Bordetella pertussis infection

Daniela Skladal, Elisabeth Horak, Martin Frühwirth, Heiner Maurer, Burkhard Simma
Wiener Klinische Wochenschrift 2004 November 30, 116 (21-22): 760-2
Infection with Bordetella pertussis can cause severe illness with neurological and pulmonary complications in children. Pulmonary hypertension is an early sign of potentially fatal disease and can cause failure of conventional respiratory therapy in severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). We report a 4 1/2-year-old boy with B. pertussis infection who developed severe ARDS and pulmonary hypertension. Because of severe neurological signs the patient did not qualify for extracorporal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). After conventional ventilation, surfactant and high frequency oscillation ventilation (HFOV) failed, treatment with nitric oxide (NO) improved oxygenation, allowing recovery without the need for ECMO. The patient survived with few sequelae. Thus, this treatment may be an option in high-risk children who meet the criteria for ECMO but are excluded because of poor neurological status, as in our patient.

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