Air leak syndrome PDF
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What is air leak syndrome? Air leak syndrome is a term used to describe problems that happen when
air collects within a baby’s chest, but outside the normal air cells of the lungs. The air then creates pressure
on the lungs and makes breathing very diffcult. It is a serious problem that can damage the lungs and other
organs. Air leak can happen in babies born full-term, but it is more common in babies born early (premature)
because their lungs are very fragile. The risk for air leak is higher if the baby needs to be given oxygen
to help him or her breathe. But air leak also can happen on its own at the time when the baby is born.
Sometimes air leak can be a result of surgery.
What happens in air leak syndrome? Air leak happens if the small sacs that hold the air inside the
lungs (called alveoli) are torn. Air then leaks from inside these sacs into areas inside the lung(s) or around
the lung(s) (see pictures below). The air pushes against the lung(s) and/or heart, causing breathing and heart
There are four types of air leak:
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