3-rx.comCustomer Support
HomeAbout UsFAQContactHelp
News Center
Health Centers
Medical Encyclopedia
Drugs & Medications
Diseases & Conditions
Medical Symptoms
Med. Tests & Exams
Surgery & Procedures
Injuries & Wounds
Diet & Nutrition
Special Topics

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Diseases and Conditions > Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns: Prevention & Expectations
      Category : Health Centers > Respiratory System (Lungs and Breathing)

Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns

Alternate Names : RDS

Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

What can be done to prevent the condition?

A key component in preventing RDS is to prevent the premature birth of a baby. Preventing the infant from becoming stressed at birth due to being cold or not getting enough oxygen can also decrease the risk of developing RDS. This can reduce the severity of the condition if it does occur, as well.

If premature birth is unavoidable, the mother can be given steroid medications 48 hours before delivery. This medication can stimulate the baby's lungs to produce surfactant. This therapy is most effective between 28 and 32 weeks of pregnancy.

After birth, premature babies and other high-risk infants are sometimes given a dose of surfactant directly into the lungs through a breathing tube known as an endotracheal tube. This can sometimes prevent RDS from developing or decrease its severity.

What are the long-term effects of the condition?

One of the long-term effects of this condition is a disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). If the RDS does not resolve after 2 weeks and the baby still needs to use a ventilator and oxygen by 1 month of age, then he or she is likely to develop BPD. Babies with BPD may need a machine to help them breathe for months. They also may need oxygen at home. These infants are also subject to developing certain types of heart problems.

Another potential problem for this condition is that one of the passages between blood vessels that normally close at birth may not close completely in RDS. This defect can cause abnormal blood flow. Also, the baby's lungs can fill up with fluid as a result or the infant's heart may fail as the result of this defect. Babies can also develop trouble with their vision because of the high levels of supplemental oxygen that they need. High levels of oxygen can make blood vessels in babies eyes develop abnormally. This can lead to blindness.

What are the risks to others?

RDS is not contagious and poses no risk to others.

Previous section


Next section

Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns: Diagnosis & Tests


Respiratory Distress Syndrome in Newborns: Treatment & Monitoring

Author: Lama Rimawi, MD
Reviewer: Eileen McLaughlin, RN, BSN
Date Reviewed: 08/07/01

\"$alt_text\"');"); } else { echo"\"$alt_text\""; } ?>

Home | About Us | FAQ | Contact | Advertising Policy | Privacy Policy | Bookmark Site