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Acta Paediatr. 2012 Apr;101(464):24-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02543.x.

RDS--CPAP or surfactant or both.

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Department of Neonatology, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.


There is mounting evidence that early continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) from birth is feasible and safe even in very preterm infants. However, many infants will develop respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and require surfactant treatment. Combining a non-invasive ventilation approach with a strategy for surfactant administration is important, but questions remain about the optimal timing, mode of delivery and the value of predictive tests for surfactant deficiency.


Early CPAP in very preterm infants is as safe as routine intubation in the delivery room. However, a strategy for surfactant administration should be part of a non-invasive ventilation approach for those infants at risk of developing significant RDS.

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