By Cecilia Moreno and Alana Williams
What is IRDS and who is at risk?
IRDS ,or Infant respiratory distress syndrome, is caused by deficiency of pulmonary surfactant in premature infants. Approximately one half of infants born at 28-32 weeks of gestation. Any infection may cause respiratory distress and will co-exist with iRDS
- Family history of IRDS
- Diabetes in the mother
- premature delivery
Beware of the manifestations
Most of the time, symptoms appear within minutes of birth. Sometimes they may not appear until several hours later.
- increased WOB
- expiratory grunting
- Shallow breathing
- Nasal flaring
The Complications and Pathophysiology
Chronic complications include the following:
- Hearing impairment and visual handicap may further compromise development.
- Complications related to procedures - eg, trauma to vocal cords from tracheal intubation; infection, embolism or thrombosis from venous or arterial catheterisation.
- Alveolar rupture: pneumothorax, pneumomediastinum, pneumopericardium, interstitial emphysema.
Giving extra surfactant to a sick infant may be helpful. Assisted breathing with a ventilator has been shown to work. A CPAP may be used to substitute assisted ventilation and extra surfactant.
Babies with RDS need close care such as:
- Having a calm setting
- Gentle handling
- Staying at an ideal body temperature
- Treating infections right away
Infant Respiratory Distress Signs