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Hyaline Membrane Disease Causes & Risks

Causes

RDS occurs in premature infants because their lungs have not developed enough. Immature lungs lack surfactant. Surfactant is a foamy fluid that is crucial for the air sacs in the lungs to expand and take in air. When there is not enough surfactant, the lungs cannot expand and the baby has a hard time breathing.

The chance of developing RDS decreases as the fetus grows. Babies born after 36 weeks rarely develop this condition.

Respiratory System of an Infant

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© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Risk Factors

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition.

  • Birth before 37 weeks; this condition is more common and more severe with greater prematurity
  • Mother with insulin dependent diabetes
  • Multiple birth
  • Cesarean section delivery
  • Cold stress
  • Asphyxia
  • Precipitous delivery
  • Previously affected infant
  • Male

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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