Respiratory Distress Syndrome

1740 Words7 Pages
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a common lung disorder that mostly affects preterm infants. RDS is caused by insufficient surfactant production and structural immaturity of the lungs leading to alveolar collapse. Clinically, RDS presents soon after birth with tachypnea, nasal flaring, grunting, retractions, hypercapnia, and/or an oxygen need. The usual course is clinical worsening followed by recovery in 3 to 5 days as adequate surfactant production occurs. Research in the prevention and treatment of this disease has led to major improvements in the care of preterm infants with RDS and increased survival. However, RDS remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality especially in the most preterm infants. This chapter reviews the most current evidence-based management of RDS, including prevention, delivery room stabilization, respiratory management, and supportive care. Prematurity is the main risk factor for RDS. Other risk factors associated with RDS include maternal diabetes, multiple gestation, elective cesarean delivery without labor, Caucasian race, male sex, precipitous delivery, and perinatal asphyxia. Factors associated with decreased risk for RDS include chronic hypertension, pre-eclampsia, chorioamnionitis, and prolonged rupture of membranes. Preterm infants are born during the late cannalicular to early saccular stages of lung development, which corresponds to the period when respiratory bronchioles capable for gas exchange and type II alveolar
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