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Lung Lubrication (Artificial Surfactant)

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

Treatment for RDS may include:

  • Placing a breathing tube into the baby's windpipe (trachea)
  • Mechanical breathing machine (ventilator). This does the work of breathing for the baby.
  • Extra oxygen (supplemental oxygen)
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This is a breathing machine that pushes a continuous flow of air or oxygen to the airways. It helps keep tiny air passages in the lungs open.
  • Artificial surfactant. This helps the most if it is started in the first 6 hours of birth. Surfactant replacement may help make RDS less serious. It is given as preventive treatment for some babies at very high risk for RDS. For others it is used as a "rescue" method. Surfactant is a liquid given through the breathing tube.
  • Medicines to help calm the baby and ease pain during treatment