Follow-up study of 53 infants who were respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) survivors showing clinical and biochemical recovery, as well as roentgenographic clearing of the disease prior to discharge, shows that 11 (20.8%) have had subsequent lower-respiratory tract illnesses necessitating admission to hospital. The 11 have had a total of 33 hospital admissions since discharge from the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Three have had subsequent disease of sufficient severity to require ventilatory assistance. Follow-up roentgenographic examinations show varying degrees of peribronchial thickening and pulmonary overdistention as evidence of persistent pulmonary disease. This experience suggests a need to reevaluate the commonly held view that infants who survive RDS with resolution of their disease show no permanent ill effects.
Outerbridge EW, Nogrady MB, Beaudry PH, Stern L. Idiopathic Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Recurrent Respiratory Illness in Survivors. Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(2):99–104. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110080077003
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