What is naturally occurring surfactant?

Naturally-occurring surfactant develops in a baby's lungs in the womb. It helps a baby breathe outside of the womb by preventing the air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. When a baby is born prematurely, especially before 28 weeks of fetal development, the surfactant may not be fully developed. A baby with this problem has what is called neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. In this case, artificial surfactant can be administered to help the baby breathe. Artificial surfactant is administered through surfactant replacement therapy. In this treatment option, an endotracheal tube is placed down the baby's throat and a surfactant, like Survanta, is administered through the tube. This way, the baby can make up for lost development and begin breathing on its own. Survanta is a surfactant with the main ingredient beractant. It helps prevent the collapsing of the lungs by reducing surface tensions in lung fluids.

Continue Learning about Respiratory Agent

How effective is roflumilast?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Studies have shown that roflumilast can reduce the number of COPD symptom flare-ups. But it has only...
More Answers
What is roflumilast?
Donna Hill Howes, RNDonna Hill Howes, RN
Roflumilast (Daliresp) is a phosphodiesterase inhibitor. It reduces inflammation but does not act di...
More Answers
What are on-demand devices for oxygen therapy?
Stacy Wiegman, PharmDStacy Wiegman, PharmD
An on-demand device gives you a small amount of oxygen when you need it, usually when you breath...
More Answers
Are allergy and sinus medications safe for my child?
Dr. Alan M. Young, MDDr. Alan M. Young, MD
Most allergy and sinus medications are safe for children over the age of two. If children are under ...
More Answers

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.