What is Respiratory Distress Syndrome and How Can Parents Prepare For It?

What is Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS)?

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a serious condition that affects newborn babies. It occurs when the lungs lack a protein called surfactant, which helps the lungs stay open and allows babies to take in oxygen. The majority of babies who develop RDS are premature.

RDS, or Respiratory Distress Syndrome, is a serious lung condition affecting newborns and can be life-threatening. It results from the premature loss of lung surfactant, a protein substance that helps keep the airways open and the lungs functioning properly.

Symptoms of Respiratory Distress Syndrome

New mothers should also talk to their doctor about how to recognize the signs and symptoms of RDS. These can include breathing problems, a bluish tint to the skin, and difficulty staying warm. If your baby is showing these signs, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

Common signs include shortness of breath, rapid or shallow breathing, grunting, difficulty feeding, and low oxygen levels.

Effects of Respiratory Distress Syndrome

RDS can cause breathing difficulties and low oxygen levels in the blood. It can also lead to organ failure, feeding problems, and other health complications. The severity and symptoms of the condition can range from mild to severe.

What causes Respiratory Distress Syndrome?

Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is a life-threatening condition that affects premature infants. It is caused by a deficiency of a fatty substance in the lungs called surfactant, which helps air sacs in the lungs stay open and allows oxygen to pass into the bloodstream. In addition to this, other risk factors can contribute to the development of RDS, such as being born prematurely, the mother has an infection, chromosomal abnormalities, low birth weight, the mother smoking during her pregnancy, and in some cases genetic disorders.

Diagnosis of Respiratory Distress Syndrome

As the prognosis largely depends on the severity, it is important to diagnose RDS quickly to ensure the best possible outcome. Expert practitioners help out families affected by this condition and are committed to providing the best possible care.

Prevention and Treatment for Respiratory Distress Syndrome

We are all very fortunate to have medical advances such as surfactant therapy that can help save the lives of these premature babies. However, we should not forget that the best defence against RDS is preventing preterm delivery.

Treatment may involve administering surfactant and helping the baby to breathe with the help of a ventilator. Moreover, nasal CPAP or high-frequency ventilation may be used to treat the condition.

If you’re expecting a baby, talk to your doctor about the risk factors for RDS and the measures you can take to reduce the risk. Some of these measures include delaying a baby’s birth if possible and using medicine to help the baby’s lungs develop.

When should I see a doctor?

For parents, it’s important to be aware of RDS and the risks associated with it. The best way to prepare for the condition is to educate yourself. Talk to your healthcare provider about the symptoms and treatments of RDS and ask them any questions you may have.


RDS can be a serious condition in newborn babies, so parents and expectant mothers need to be aware of the risk factors and understand the symptoms. Talk to your doctor about the measures you can take to reduce the risk of RDS and be sure to recognize the signs and seek medical help if necessary. By educating yourself and taking the proper precautions, you can ensure your baby’s health and well-being.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

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