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Hyaline Membrane Disease Treatments


Treatment for a baby with RDS usually includes oxygen and may also include:

Mechanical Respirator

A mechanical respirator (breathing machine) is used to keep the air sacs from collapsing and to improve the exchange of oxygen and other gases in the lungs. This treatment helps the baby breathe better and is almost always required in severe RDS. High-frequency ventilation may be used to reduce lung injury.

Surfactant Treatment

Surfactant can be given to help the air sacs in the lungs expand and take in more oxygen. There are two options, both of which are delivered directly into the baby's windpipe. One type of surfactant comes from cows and the other is synthetic. As the surfactant takes effect, use of the respirator can gradually be reduced.

Inhaled Nitric Oxide

This inhaled gas may be used to improve oxygenation.

Nutrition Support

Newborns with RDS may be given food and water by the following means:

  • Tube feeding—a tube is inserted through the baby's mouth and into the stomach
  • Parenteral feeding—nutrients are delivered directly into a vein

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 © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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