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South African Medical Journal

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The late administration of surfactant

DE Ballot, AD Rothberg, VA Davies

Abstract


Current recommendations for surfactant replacement therapy (SRT) in the treatment of hyaline membrane disease (HMD) are to administer the drug as soon as possible after starting ventilation in order to prevent ventilator lung damage. We present a review of 18 infants (gestational age 32,4 ± 1,9 weeks and birth weight 1 795 ± 427 g) who received the initial dose of SRT after they were 12 hours old. Fourteen infants were assessed as having HMD and 4 as having congenital pneumonia. Overall there was a significant and sustained improvement in oxygenation as measured by arterial/alveolar oxygen ratios. The outcome of these infants was good, with a duration of ventilation of 7,9 ± 4,3 days and a duration of hospitalisation of 26,2 ± 12,6 days. No infant developed bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Of particular interest is that 3 infants weighing> 2 400 g with congenital pneumonia responded to a single delayed dose of SRT. Late SRT is effective and there may be a place for SRT in the treatment of conditions other than HMD.

S Afr Med J 1995; 85: 644-646.



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