Surfactant treatment for respiratory distress syndrome following prolonged rupture of membranes
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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 wordsSurfactant 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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