A 10-minute-old girl is evaluated in the neonatal intensive care unit for respiratory distress, which has been present since birth. She was born at 40 weeks’ gestation via cesarean section for breech positioning. Amniotic fluid was clear. Vital signs are significant for normal temperature, respirations 60/minute, and O2 saturation of 82% in the right upper extremity. On physical examination, auscultation of the chest is positive for bowel sounds.
Which of the following is the most likely cause of this patient’s respiratory distress?
- A) Inadequate amniotic fluid clearance
- B) Infection
- C) Lung hypoplasia
- D) Surfactant inactivation
- E) Surfactant insufficiency
Dr. Ted O'Connell