Potential complications of Respiratory Distress Syndrome
How is RDS treated, and what are the potential complications?
Maternal corticosteroids are administered intramuscularly and have been shown to promote surfactant production if preterm delivery is imminent. Exogenous (intratracheal) surfactant administered to the neonate is also beneficial. Infants requiring intubation may develop complications such as air leaks in the form of pneumothoraces; pneumomediastinum; or pulmonary interstitial emphysema (PIE), which appears as linear interstitial lucencies. Long-term consequences of barotrauma and increased oxygen exposure include neonatal chronic lung disease, which may manifest as diffuse interstitial thickening and hyperaeration.