What are the symptoms of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in infants?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

There are 3 classic symptoms associated with respiratory distress syndrome:

  • Intracostal retractions as the infant uses accessory muscles to support the work of ventilation
  • Grunting as the epiglottis attempts to keep air in the lungs
  • Nasal flaring as the infant attempts to take in additional air.

Later signs of the infant's deteriorating condition include a change in the respiratory rate and apnea and the presence of cyanosis, especially around the oral area.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.