Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns
RDS happens when an infant's lungs have not developed enough. Immature lungs lack a fluid called surfactant that helps the lungs open wide and take in air. The lungs do not open well without it. This makes it hard to breathe.
|Respiratory System of an Infant|
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RDS is more common in:
- Babies who are born very early
- Babies born to mothers with diabetes
Other things that may raise the risk are:
- Lack of oxygen during birth
- The baby's blood entering the mother's circulation before or during delivery
- Cesarean section delivery
- Multiple birth
- High blood pressure during pregnancy
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Hyaline Membrane Disease; RDS)
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation http://www.kidshealth.org
About Kids Health—The Hospital for Sick Children http://www.aboutkidshealth.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) of the newborn. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/respiratory-distress-syndrome-rds-of-the-newborn-23 . Updated August 13, 2019. Accessed January 10, 2020.
Respiratory distress syndrome. The Merck Manual Professional Edition website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/respiratory%5Fdisorders%5Fin%5Fneonates/respiratory%5Fdistress%5Fsyndrome.html. Updated August 13, 2019. Accessed January 10, 2020.
Sweet DG, Carnielli V, et al. European consensus guidelines on the management of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants - 2013 update. Neonatology. 2013;103(4):353-368.