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Respiratory Distress

Screening and Tests for Respiratory Distress

Diagnosing RDS can begin with a visual assessment of the baby—e.g., his appearance, color and breathing efforts, which indicate his need for oxygen. A chest x-ray of the lungs may also be taken; the x-ray can detect if the baby’s lungs have developed the normal “ground glass” appearance, which usually forms in the first six to 12 hours after birth. Tests for blood gases may be used to looks for low oxygen levels and excessive acid in the bodily fluids, which are signs of RDS. In addition, lab tests may be conducted to rule out other potential causes of respiratory distress, including infection and sepsis, and an echocardiogram may be employed to rule out heart problems that may cause symptoms similar to those of RDS. 

Locations for Respiratory Distress