Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)
A syndrome causing difficulty in breathing primarily seen in premature infants due to a lack of surfactant, a substance that helps lung sacs remain inflated.
How is RDS treated?
Premature infants with symptoms consistent with RDS are given varying degrees of respiratory support depending on severity and symptoms. Most infants with RDS require positive pressure, either with CPAP or a ventilator, to help their lungs stay inflated. Infants who are intubated generally receive exogenous surfactant through a breathing tube.
How long will my infant require positive pressure?
Depending on the maturational state of the lungs, CPAP or a ventilator may be required for a few days to months. If the infant has a supplemental oxygen need beyond 21%, most will remain on CPAP until corrected to 32 weeks gestational age.