Pre-surfactant administration Post-surfactant administrationThe premature baby will breathe rapidly, have in-drawing of the muscles of the chest wall or neck, and make a grunting sound. The baby will require oxygen delivered via a breathing device (ventilator or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)) to maintain normal blood oxygen levels.
The lungs of premature newborns do not produce enough surfactant, a natural mixture of lipids and protein.
Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is one of the conditions affecting babies with very low birth weight (VLBW).Without surfactant, the premature baby's air sacs are not well expanded, and cannot function well for gas exchange. Additionally, some premature babies are not yet strong enough to breathe effectively during the first few days of life.
Our doctors will make the diagnosis after examining the baby, and with the help of blood tests and chest x-rays. Babies with RDS can be treated with Surfactant and supported with breathing devices, either a ventilator (breathing machine) or a CPAP device. Following recovery from this respiratory condition, the progress of the baby depends on his or her overall general condition.ComplicationOccasionally, when the baby has severe RDS, air may leak out of the airways and prevent the lung from expanding. This can be treated immediately by placing a tube into the lung cavity to drain out the air.
The severity of this condition is determined by several factors: the degree of prematurity and maternal conditions prior to delivery. The more premature the baby is, the more severe the expected course of the RDS. A course of antenatal corticosteroids for pregnant women will reduce the chances of their premature babies having severe RDS by about 40%. Between 2015 and 2019, 142 out of 268 (53%) VLBW babies received surfactant replacement therapy to treat RDS.