Newborn respiratory distress syndrome
When a baby’s lungs are not fully grown, they cannot produce enough oxygen, leading to breathing difficulties known as newborn respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS). Premature infants are generally affected.
Other names are infant respiratory distress syndrome, hyaline membrane disease, and surfactant deficient lung disease.
Causes for newborn respiratory distress syndrome
Premature Infant’s lungs will not have fully matured; these infants experience this newborn respiratory distress syndrome.
The condition happens by the absence of surfactant, a slick substance found in the lungs. This chemical prevents the air sacs from contracting and aids breathing. The presence of surfactant indicates the excellent efficiency of the lungs.
Other possible causes include genetic issues with lung development.
Most cases affect infants who are born before 37 to 39 weeks. Full-term newborns rarely have the issue.
Additional elements that can raise the risk include:
- A sibling or brother with respiratory distress syndrome
- Having diabetes, the mother
- Induction of labor before the baby’s full-term or Cesarean delivery
- Obstacles during delivery that stop the baby’s blood flow
- Several pregnancies
- Quick labor
Symptoms of newborn respiratory distress syndrome
The signs of NRDS are frequently present at birth and progressively worsen over the next few days.
They may consist of:
- Lips, toes, and fingers that are blue
- Shallow, fast breathing
- Dilated nostrils
- Breathing that makes a grunting noise
Treatment for newborn respiratory syndrome can start before birth if you are prone to be at risk of giving birth earlier than the pregnancy date.
Before giving birth,
- The doctor may issue a steroid injection to you. The steroids encourage the baby’s lungs to mature
- Magnesium sulfate may also be recommended to you to lessen the possibility of developmental issues brought on by early birth
After giving birth,
- The doctor might move your infant to a nursery that offers specialized care for newborns born too soon
- If the symptoms are minor, they could want more oxygen. Typically, instructed by an incubator was a tiny mask placed over their face or nose or nasal tubes
- A breathing machine will be attached to your infant if symptoms are more severe
- A dose of synthetic surfactant given to your infant, generally through a breathing tube
Evidence suggests that receiving treatment within two hours of delivery is preferable to waiting.
Reviewed by – Dr. Priyanka, MBBS MD Microbiology
Page last reviewed: 16 JULY 2022