What is the link between surfactant and respiratory distress syndrome?

can some one please describe and summarise the link please! any info wil help! thank you!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) is a breathing problem that sometimes affects babies born about 6 weeks or more before their due dates. Their lungs aren't developed enough to make surfactant (sur-FAK-tant). Surfactant is a liquid that coats the inside of the lungs and keeps them open so that the baby can breathe in air once he or she is born.

    Without surfactant, the lungs collapse and the baby has to work hard to breathe. The baby might not be able to breathe in enough oxygen to support the body's organs.

    Most infants who develop RDS show signs of breathing problems at birth or within the next few hours. If they're not given the right treatment, their brains and other organs may suffer from the lack of oxygen.

    RDS is one of the most common lung disorders in premature babies. It affects about 10 of every 100 premature infants in the United States, or about 40,000 babies, each year. In fact, nearly all babies born before 28 weeks of pregnancy develop RDS. Full-term infants rarely get it.

    A lack of surfactant in a premature baby's lungs causes respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Surfactant is a liquid that a fetus' lungs start making at around 26 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. It coats the insides of the lungs and keeps them open so they can breathe in air after birth. Without surfactant, the lungs collapse when the baby exhales. The baby then has to work hard to breathe.

    Doctors usually begin treating respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) as soon as the baby is born. At the same time, they do several tests to rule out any other conditions that could be causing the baby's breathing problems. The tests also can confirm that the doctors have diagnosed the condition correctly.

    Treatment of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) usually begins as soon as the baby is born, sometimes in the delivery room. Most infants who show signs of RDS are quickly moved to a special intensive care unit called a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The most important treatments for RDS are surfactant replacement therapy

    and breathing support.

    Source(s): respiratory professional
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