What are the Medical Interventions (Laboratory exams, Diagnostic tests) for Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome?
A common breathing disorder in neonates is Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). RDS is most common in babies who are born before their due date, usually before 28 weeks. RDS affects full-term babies less frequently. Newborn respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) occurs when a baby’s lungs are not fully developed and cannot provide enough oxygen, resulting in breathing difficulties. Infant respiratory distress syndrome, hyaline membrane disease, and surfactant deficient lung disease are some of the other terms for it.
RDS is characterized by a hyalinelike (fibrous) membrane that begins to line the terminal bronchioles, alveolar ducts, and alveoli, and is formed from an exudate of an infant’s blood. This membrane prevents oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange at the alveolar-capillary membrane, interfering with effective oxygenation. RDS is caused by a lack of surfactant, a phospholipid that normally lines the alveoli and reduces surface tension to prevent them from collapsing during expiration. Surfactant deficiency increases surface tension in the small airways and alveoli, reducing the compliance of the immature lung. Because surfactant does not form until the 34th week of pregnancy, as many as 30% of LBW and 50% of VLBW premature infants are at risk of this condition.
Infants managed with antenatal steroids, respiratory support, and exogenous surfactant therapy have a very favorable prognosis. The mortality rate is less than 10%, with some studies reporting survival rates as high as 98% with advanced care. Surfactant production eventually begins with adequate ventilatory support alone, and once surfactant production begins together with the onset of diuresis, RDS improves within 4 to 5 days. Untreated disease that causes severe hypoxemia in the first days of life can lead to multiple organ failure and death.
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