Newborns with breathing complications may suffer from many different conditions related to surfactant absence. Many of these conditions are caused by prematurity. The baby’s lungs haven’t had enough time to develop, and therefore struggle to work on their own.
Infant respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or hyaline membrane disease (HMD) is one of the most common conditions related to surfactant absence that can be caused by prematurity. This condition is one of the most common problems affecting premature babies. It occurs when there isn’t enough surfactant, so the baby’s body must work harder and harder to breathe. Along with surfactant therapy, the baby usually also requires ventilation therapy.