Neonatal respiratory distress following elective delivery. A preventable disease?

Maureen Hack, Avroy A. Fanaroff, Marshall H. Klaus, Barry D. Mendelawitz, Irwin R. Merkatz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

87 Scopus citations


Twelve per cent of all infants with respiratory distress admitted to our neonatal intensive-care unit from November 1973 to April 1974, were born after elective intervention (15 cesarean sections and four vaginal inductions). All were white and 18 19 were private compared to yearly admissions of white (56 per cent) and private (57 per cent). Eighteen of 19 were admitted from the region via the transport service. Mean birth weight was 2.69 kilograms, with 18 infants over 2 kilograms. Pediatric gestational age from a physical and neurological evaluation ranged from 32 to 39 weeks (mean 36.2 weeks) in contrast to obstetric dating which ranged from 38 to 44 weeks (mean 39 weeks). The obstetric dating was 3 or more weeks greater than the pediatric age in 11 infants. Pulmonary disease included transient tachypnea (5) and respiratory distress syndrome (14). No prior documentation of pulmonary maturity had been obtained in any of these infants. Mean hospitalization was 23 days (range 1 to 140), with estimated costs of $3,421 per baby. Two infants died. Respiratory distress following elective delivery remains a potent source of on-going perinatal morbidity. Regional programs must direct increased educational efforts to eliminate this preventable disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-47
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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