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Journal of Perinatal Medicine

Official Journal of the World Association of Perinatal Medicine

Editor-in-Chief: Dudenhausen, MD, FRCOG, Joachim W.

Editorial Board: / Bancalari, Eduardo / Greenough, Anne / Genc, Mehmet R. / Chervenak, Frank A. / Chappelle, Joseph / Bergmann, Renate L. / Bernardes, J.F. / Bevilacqua, G. / Blickstein, Isaac / Cabero Roura, Luis / Carbonell-Estrany, Xavier / Carrera, Jose M. / D`Addario, Vincenzo / D'Alton, MD, Mary E. / Dimitrou, G. / Grunebaum, Amos / Hentschel, Roland / Köpcke, W. / Kawabata, Ichiro / Keirse, Marc J.N.C. / Kurjak M.D., Asim / Lee, Ben H. / Levene, Malcolm / Lockwood, Charles J. / Marsal, Karel / Makatsariya, Alexander / Nishida, Hiroshi / Papp, Zoltán / Pejaver, Ranjan Kumar / Pooh, Ritsuko K. / Reiss, Irwin / Romero, Roberto / Saugstad, Ola D. / Schenker, Joseph G. / Sen, Cihat / Seri, Istvan / Vetter, Klaus / Winn, Hung N. / Young, Bruce K. / Zimmermann, Roland

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Volume 35, Issue 3


European consensus guidelines on the management of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome

David Sweet / Giulio Bevilacqua
  • 2Department of Gynecology, Obstetrics and Neonatology, University of Parma, via Gramsci 4, Parma, Italy
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/ Virgilio Carnielli
  • 3Department of Neonatology, University Polytechnic della Marche, University Hospital Ancona, Via Corridoni 11, Ancona, Italy
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/ Gorm Greisen / Richard Plavka
  • 5Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, General Faculty Hospital and 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague. 18 Apolinarska Street, Prague, Czech Republic
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/ Ola Didrik Saugstad
  • 6Department of Pediatric Research, Rikshospitalet Medical Center, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
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/ Umberto Simeoni
  • 7Service de Neonatologie, Hopital de La Conception, Assistance Publique – Hopitaux de Marseille, 147 boulevard Baille, Marseille, France
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/ Christian P. Speer / Adolf Valls-i-Soler
  • 9Department of Pediatrics, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Hospital de Cruces, University of Basque Country, Plaza de Cruces, Barakaldo, Spain
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/ Henry Halliday
  • 10Queen's University Belfast, Royal Maternity Hospital, Grosvenor Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland, UK
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Published Online: 2007-05-04 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPM.2007.048


Despite recent advances in the perinatal management of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), controversies still exist. We report the recommendations of a European panel of expert neonatologists who developed consensus guidelines after critical examination of the most up-to-date evidence in 2007. Strong evidence exists for the role of antenatal steroids in RDS prevention, but it is not clear if repeated courses are safe. Many practices involved in preterm neonatal stabilization at birth are not evidence based, including oxygen administration and positive pressure lung inflation, and they may at times be harmful. Surfactant replacement therapy is crucial in management of RDS but the best preparation, optimal dose and timing of administration at different gestations is not always clear. Respiratory support in the form of mechanical ventilation may also be life saving but can cause lung injury, and protocols should be directed to avoiding mechanical ventilation where possible by using nasal continuous positive airways pressure. For babies with RDS to have the best outcome, it is essential that they have optimal supportive care, including maintenance of a normal body temperature, proper fluid management, good nutritional support, management of the ductus arteriosus and support of the circulation to maintain adequate blood pressure.

Keywords: Continuous positive airways pressure; evidence based practice; mechanical ventilation; oxygen supplementation; patent ductus arteriosus; respiratory distress syndrome; surfactant therapy; thermoregulation

About the article

Corresponding author: Dr. David Sweet, MD, FRCPCH Regional Neonatal Unit Royal Maternity Hospital Belfast BT12 6BB Northern Ireland UK

Published Online: 2007-05-04

Published in Print: 2007-06-01

Citation Information: Journal of Perinatal Medicine, Volume 35, Issue 3, Pages 175–186, ISSN (Online) 03005577, ISSN (Print) 16193997, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/JPM.2007.048.

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