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Respiratory distress syndrome in preterm neonates of Lahore
Compromised health facilities in developing countries often result in inadequate care for both mothers and their newborns. Consequently, a large number of neonates who are born prematurely with serious prepartum difficulties develop additional postpartum complications. Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in infants is a complex pulmonary state in which the lungs are not properly developed and therefore produce very little surfactant, resulting in morbidity of many preterm newborns. The present study investigated the frequency of RDS in neonates born at various gestational ages and of various birthweights. Out of 180 subjects, 50 (27.8%) developed RDS, the diagnosis of which was based on radiological findings and symptoms such as tachypnoea, nasal flaring and central cyanosis. The frequency of RDS is inversely, and significantly, associated with both gestational age and birthweight, which were found to be good predictors of the likelihood of a newborn developing RDS. Preterm newborns of low birthweight have a higher risk of developing RDS than full-term newborns of heavier birthweight. In light of these observations, proper management strategies should be devised for the assessment and treatment of preterm neonates with, or without, RDS.