(rĕs-pīr′ă-tō-rē, rĕs′pĭ-ră-tō″rē) [L. respiratio, breathing] Pert. to respiration.
An obsolete form of respirometer formerly used in investigating pulmonary function.
respiratory defense mechanisms
Ciliated epithelium, mucus, immunoglobulins, and other devices present in the trachea, bronchi, and lungs, used to defend the respiratory tract against microorganisms and other inhaled particles.
respiratory distress syndrome of the preterm infant, respiratory distress syndrome of the neonate
ABBR: RDS. Severe impairment of respiratory function in a preterm newborn, caused by immaturity of the lungs. This condition is rarely present in a newborn of more than 37 weeks’ gestation or in one weighing at least 2.2 kg (5 lb). SYN: hyaline membrane disease. SEE: acute respiratory distress syndrome; infant respiratory distress syndrome; neonatal respiratory distress syndrome; preterm labor.
INCIDENCE: RDS occurs in approx. 1% of all births in the U.S. and is the leading cause of death in prematurely born infants in the U.S. The incidence increases with worsening prematurity, i.e., with shorter periods of gestation.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS: Shortly after birth the preterm infant with RDS has a low Apgar score and obvious difficulty breathing.
DIAGNOSIS: Tachypnea, tachycardia, retraction of the rib cage during inspiration, cyanosis, nasal flaring, and grunting during expiration are present. Blood gas studies reflect the impaired ventilatory function (abnormally low oxygen levels and respiratory acidosis).
TREATMENT: Preterm infants with RDS require treatment in a specially staffed and equipped neonatal intensive care unit. Therapy is supportive: humidified oxygen is supplied, the airways are ventilated, and adequate hydration and electrolytes are administered. If necessary, assisted ventilation with PEEP or CPAP is used to open alveoli. Care is taken to prevent the barotrauma: traumatic formation of pulmonary air leaks that could cause pulmonary emphysema and tension pneumothorax. Instillation of surfactant into the respiratory tract via an endotracheal tube is essential in managing RDS.
PATIENT CARE: To prevent RDS, as soon after birth as possible (preferably within 15 min), the health care professional administers neonatal lung surfactant intratracheally. The neonate’s response to the medication is monitored carefully, and used to guide changes in ventilation, e.g., inspiratory pressures, tidal volume, and oxygenation.
The skin and mucous membranes are frequently inspected and lubricated with a water-soluble lubricant to prevent irritation, inflammation, and perforation.
The newborn is maintained in a thermoneutral environment to stabilize body temperature at 97.6°F (36.5°C). The newborn requires gentle and minimal handling, with assessment and care procedures separated ...