Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome (Hyaline Membrane Disease) in Children

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Hyaline membrane disease (HMD), also called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), is a condition that causes babies to need extra oxygen and help breathing.

  • HMD is one of the most common problems seen in premature babies.
  • The more premature the baby, the higher the risk and the more severe the HMD.
  • HMD typically worsens over the first 48 to 72 hours and then improves with treatment.
  • More than 90 percent of babies with HMD survive.

At Children’s Hospital Boston, we care for newborn babies who need intensive medical attention in a special area of the hospital called the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The NICU combines advanced technology and trained professionals to provide specialized care for the tiniest patients.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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