Infant respiratory distress syndrome
Martin, Richard J. Division of Neonatology, Rainbow Babies and Childrens Hospital, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Incidence and pathophysiology
- Clinical features
- Prevention and treatment
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A common disorder of premature (or preterm) birth, defined by respiratory difficulty, which requires oxygen or assisted ventilation, and characteristic changes on chest x-ray. It is primarily the result of deficiency in surface-active lipids (contained within pulmonary surfactant) which serve to stabilize the air spaces (alveoli) within the lung. Although most cases of infant respiratory distress syndrome rarely result in a fatal outcome in developed countries, all require specialized care in a neonatal intensive care unit.
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