At Cook Children's, you'll find the best pediatric doctors in North Texas. Our professionals put the health and well-being of your child first and foremost.
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Looking for a pediatric specialty clinic? Cook Children's has more than 60 locations across North Texas, because even when your child's diagnosis is complicated, finding the right care should be simple.
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One of the most common and immediate problems facing premature infants is difficulty breathing. Although there are many causes of breathing difficulties in premature babies, the most common is called respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).
In RDS, a baby's immature lungs don't produce enough of an important substance called surfactant. Surfactant allows the inner surface of the lungs to expand properly when the infant goes from the womb to breathing air after birth.
Doctors suspect RDS in any premature baby and in full-term infants who are breathing particularly hard and fast or who need extra oxygen. A chest X-ray can confirm the diagnosis.
When premature delivery can't be stopped, most pregnant women can be given a steroid medicine just before delivery to help prevent RDS. If needed, artificial surfactant can be given to a newborn through a breathing tube immediately after birth and several times later. Many premature babies who lack surfactant will require a breathing machine, or ventilator, for a while, but the use of artificial surfactant has greatly decreased the amount of time they spend on the ventilator.
Babies with serious cases usually require many days or weeks in the unit.
If you would like to schedule an appointment for a NICU tour, refer a patient or speak to our staff, please call our offices at 855-687-6428.