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April 18, 1966


JAMA. 1966;196(3):282. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100160132040

The causes of respiratory distress in the first days of life are multiple and include congenital anomalies, heart failure, infections, aspiration, and hyaline membrane disease, usually termed "the respiratory distress syndrome." Since the treatment and prognosis of labored breathing depend on proper diagnosis, it is imperative that the physician recognize the multiple possible etiologies of this event. A communication in the April American Journal of the Diseases of Children1 describes a benign syndrome, most frequently observed in term infants, which can be diagnosed with clinical and radiographic information. Respirations are rapid in the first hours of life and may be over 100 per minute; retractions are minimal; rales are absent; and there is no significant cyanosis or hypercapnea. The roentgenogram shows prominent vascular markings and occasionally streaky hilar markings. The tachypnea persists for several days, with subsequent clearing of the chest roentgenogram and complete recovery. The investigators suggest that

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