Treatments for Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome (Hyaline Membrane Disease) in Children

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What treatments are available for HMD?

Treatment for HMD may include:

  • placing an endotracheal tube (breathing tube, also called an ET) into your baby's windpipe
  • mechanical breathing machine (to do the work of breathing for your baby)
  • supplemental oxygen (extra amounts of oxygen)
  • continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) - a mechanical breathing machine that pushes a continuous flow of air or oxygen to the airways to help keep tiny air passages in the lungs open
  • surfactant replacement with artificial surfactant – this treatment has been shown to reduce the severity of HMD, and is most effective if started in the first six hours of birth. It may be given as preventive treatment for babies at very high risk for HMD, or used as a “rescue” method. The drug comes as a powder that is mixed with sterile water and given through the ET tube. This treatment is usually administered in several doses.
  • medications (to help sedate and ease your baby's pain during treatment)
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