Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome




Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

Respiratory system

Upper respiratory tract disorders

Choanal atresia


Allergic rhinitis

Nasal polyps

Upper respiratory tract infection



Retropharyngeal and peritonsillar abscesses

Bacterial epiglottitis

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Lower respiratory tract disorders

Tracheoesophageal fistula

Congenital pulmonary airway malformation

Pulmonary hypoplasia

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

Transient tachypnea of the newborn

Meconium aspiration syndrome

Apnea of prematurity

Sudden infant death syndrome

Acute respiratory distress syndrome

Pulmonary changes at high altitude and altitude sickness

Decompression sickness

Cyanide poisoning



Chronic bronchitis


Cystic fibrosis


Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency

Restrictive lung diseases


Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Hypersensitivity pneumonitis



Bacterial tracheitis

Lung cancer

Pancoast tumor

Superior vena cava syndrome

Pleura and pleural space disorders


Pleural effusion


Pulmonary vascular disorders

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary hypertension

Apnea and hypoventilation

Sleep apnea

Apnea of prematurity

Respiratory system pathology review

Respiratory distress syndrome: Pathology review

Cystic fibrosis: Pathology review

Pneumonia: Pathology review

Tuberculosis: Pathology review

Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: Pathology review

Pleural effusion, pneumothorax, hemothorax and atelectasis: Pathology review

Obstructive lung diseases: Pathology review

Restrictive lung diseases: Pathology review

Apnea, hypoventilation and pulmonary hypertension: Pathology review

Lung cancer and mesothelioma: Pathology review


Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome


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USMLE® Step 1 questions

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High Yield Notes

7 pages


Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

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USMLE® Step 1 style questions USMLE

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A 1-day-old boy is brought to the intensive care unit from the nursery due to increased work of breathing. The patient was born at 31 weeks to a mother with a history of multiple preterm deliveries, polysubstance abuse and HIV. His temperature is 38°C (100.4°F), pulse is 215/min, respirations are 76/min, blood pressure is 60/41 mmHg, and oxygen saturation is 85% on room air. Physical exam shows tachypnea, nasal flaring, and subcostal retractions. Administration of supplemental oxygen and positive pressure ventilation improve the patient's oxygen saturation to 95%. Blood glucose is 95 mg/dL. Chest x-ray and laboratory results are shown below:  

Reproduced from: Wikipedia
Laboratory value  Result 
Blood Gases, Serum 
pH  7.23 
 PCO2  55 mmHg 
 PO2  30 mmHg 
Which of the following best describes the etiology of this infant’s disease process?

External References

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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia p. 213

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome as cause p. 685

C-section deliveries

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome p. 685

Diabetes mellitus p. 352-360

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome p. 685

Hyaline membrane disease p. 700

Intraventricular hemorrhage p. NaN

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome as cause p. 685

Metabolic acidosis p. 616

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome p. 685

Necrotizing enterocolitis p. 395

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and p. 685

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) p. 685

restrictive lung disease p. 700

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and p. 685

Premature labor and delivery

neonatal respiratory distress syndrome and p. 685


Infant respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS), also called neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, is a syndrome common in premature infants that is caused by developmental insufficiency of surfactant production and structural immaturity in the lungs. The result is inability to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide effectively across the alveolar-capillary membrane.

Symptoms of RDS may include rapid breathing, grunting, flaring of the nostrils, and cyanosis (bluish skin and lips). The severity of the symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the RDS. Treatment for RDS may include supplemental oxygen, respiratory support, and medications to improve lung function.


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