In this section
Definition of Terms
Pulmonary surfactant is a complex mixture of phospholipids and proteins that creates a cohesive surface layer over the alveoli which reduces surface tension and maintains alveolar stability therefore preventing atelectasis. Surfactant deficiency is a recognized cause of respiratory distress syndrome in the preterm neonate. Secondary surfactant deficiency also contributes to acute respiratory morbidity in late-preterm and term neonates with meconium aspiration syndrome, pulmonary haemorrhage, and pneumonia/sepsis. Many clinical trials have demonstrated that surfactant replacement therapy is a safe, effective and beneficial treatment as it significantly reduces respiratory morbidity (air leaks, pulmonary interstitial emphysema), ventilatory requirements and mortality in these neonates.
Surfactant replacement therapy should be considered in:
Surfactant replacement therapy may be considered in:
The evidence table for this guideline can be viewed here.
Please remember to read the disclaimer.The development of this nursing guideline was coordinated by Sheila Daco, RN, Butterfly Ward, and approved by the Nursing Clinical Effectiveness Committee. Updated Janurary 2018.