Respiratory distress syndrome


  • AKA hyaline membrane disease, infantile respiratory distress syndrome, respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn, or RDS
  • Due to surfactant deficiency in infants delivered prematurely
    • 60% chance of developing RDS if delivered <29wks gestation, 10% of preemies overall, rare in full term infants[1]
  • Onset rapid upon delivery

Clinical Features

  • Grunting, retractions, hypoxia, cyanosis, or other signs of respiratory distress in a recently delivered premature infant

Differential Diagnosis



  • See newborn resuscitation for general management of distressed newborn
  • Surfactant replacement (e.g. Servanta) given endotracheally
  • Prevented by prenatal corticosteroids between 24-34wks gestation in cases where high risk of preterm delivery[3]


  • Admit

See Also


  2. Kurl S, Heinonen KM, Kiekara O. The first chest radiograph in neonates exhibiting respiratory distress at birth. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1997:285–9
This article is issued from Wikem. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.