European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 149, Issue 10, pp 727–729 | Cite as

Surfactant treatment for respiratory distress syndrome following prolonged rupture of membranes

  • T. R. J. Tubman
  • H. L. Halliday


Surfactant replacement for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) following very prolonged rupture of the membranes (PROM) is of uncertain value. Seven preterm babies born after PROM (median 48 days, range 22–61 days) were compared with 14 babies without PROM. All had clinical and radiological evidence of severe RDS, requiring mechanical ventilation with inspired oxygen concentrations ≥60%. Indices of oxygenation and “compliance” were compared before and serially up to 4h after surfactant treatment. Before treatment the PROM babies had more severe lung disease, based upon higher inspired oxygen concentration and mean airway pressure, and lower arterial/alveolar oxygen tension ratio and ventilator efficiency index. These indices were significantly worse in the PROM group than the comparison group at all times after treatment. The poor response of the PROM group, perhaps because of pulmonary hypoplasia, suggests that surfactant replacement may not be beneficial for RDS in these babies.

Key words

Surfactant Prolonged membrane rupture Pulmonary hypoplasia 


a/A PO2

arterial/alveolar oxygen tension ratio


fraction of inspired oxygen


prolonged rupture of the membranes


respiratory distress syndrome


ventilator efficiency index


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. J. Tubman
    • 1
  • H. L. Halliday
    • 2
  1. 1.NICU, Royal Maternity HospitalQueen's University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Child HealthQueen's University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland

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