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The Role of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners in the Treatment of Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome

09-14-2011 08:19 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: ONY Inc.

New York, U.S.:Newborns who are diagnosed with infant respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) are often cared for by neonatal nurse practitioners in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Infant respiratory distress syndrome is characterized by a lack of surfactant in the lungs. Surfactant is a naturally occurring substance that coats the lungs and helps them to function properly. Infants who are born prematurely -- that is, born at least six weeks before their due date -- don't produce enough surfactant on their own. This makes it hard for infants to breathe on their own, and they often need the help of a breathing machine, such as a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.

A neonatal intensive care unit is sometimes also called a Special Care Nursery, Special Care Baby Unit, Intensive Care Nursery, and Newborn Intensive Care Unit. Some of the specialists who work in NICU's include:

• Neonatologists
• Neonatal nurse practitioners
• Physician assistants
• Respiratory therapists
• Pharmacists

A neonatal nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has undergone specialized training and clinical experience in the care and treatment of premature and sick newborns. This may include infants with birth defects or respiratory illnesses, such as infant respiratory distress syndrome. Neonatal nurse practitioners are trained to evaluate infants, perform nursery procedures, and write orders, unlike regular RNs. They usually have their own caseload and are authorized to assume full medical responsibility for their patients. Neonatal nurse practitioners work closely with supervising physicians to decide the best course of treatment for infants with respiratory distress syndrome.

Infants with respiratory distress syndrome need immediate treatment in the NICU. Symptoms of RDS are usually present during, or immediately following, birth. Symptoms can include rapid, shallow breathing; bluish skin color; decreased urine output; and flared nostrils. Neonatal nurse practitioners may oversee the administering of artificial surfactants, such as Curosurf or Survanta, to premature infants with respiratory distress. The medication is delivered directly into the infant’s lungs. Treatment will continue until the infant is able to produce surfactant on his or her own, and is able to breathe by his or herself. The treatment of infant respiratory distress syndrome should only delivered by specialists such as neonatal nurse practitioners in a clinical, controlled, and supervised setting.

For further enquires related to ONY, Inc. and Infasurf, please free to email at or visit now.

Infasurf is a pure lung surfactant that helps in improving the breathing process of the new-born patient suffering from RDS.

ONY, Inc.
1576 Sweet Home Rd.
Amherst, NY 14228
Tel: (716) 636-9096
Toll-free: (877) 274-4469
Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern, excluding holidays

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