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Question
Posted by: Felicia | 2008/06/17

HMD

hi
my baby was a premmie born at 37 weeks but only survived for 12hours doctors said the cuase of death was a Highline Memory deases, now i am 26 weeks pregnant and i would like to know more about this desease to avoid complication to this pregnany

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Our expert says:
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Dear Felicia
I am so sorry to har about your loss. The response from the other mom was very comprehensive. I can just add that we give moms a cortisone injection before birth, to help with the surfactant production in the lungs. Your doctor should know that you had this problem the previous time and he / she will monitor you well to help prevent premature birht. Good luck. Welma

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Our users say:
Posted by: From a Mom | 2008/06/18

I was born 33 years ago with the condition known as Hyaline Membrane Disease. I think that might be what your baby had, so sorry to hear about your loss. Good luck with the next couple of weeks, your baby will be fine!

When a baby is born, vaginal pressure squeezes much of the fluid out of its lungs and some air moves in to take its place. (The rest of the fluid is absorbed by the blood vessels and lymphatics in the lungs.) The baby’s first few breaths are the hardest it will ever take in its life. They require a pressure that is ten to fifteen times that of later breaths because the baby has to inflate all of its alveoli at once (Avery et al., 1973).
With subsequent breaths forty percent of the air remains as residual air in the open alveoli and breathing becomes much easier. A premature baby who does not have enough surfactant in its lungs will continue to have to exert enormous effort with later breaths because all its alveoli will continue to collapse with each exhalation and must be totally opened again with each new breath.

This condition called Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS) is, of course, very serious; mortality rates may vary from thirty to sixty percent (Evans and Glass, 1976). It is also known as Hyaline Membrane Disease because serum and cell debris leak into the alveoli and bronchioles and coat them with a glassy covering which makes breathing even harder. The longer a baby can survive, the more of a chance it has of making surfactant although there is always the probability of brain damage due to lack of oxygen in the brain (hypoxia).

The best cure is prevention of premature birth if possible. Doctors now have a test which enables them to tell if the fetus’s lungs are mature enough to breathe air. By amniocentesis they take a sample of amniotic fluid and test it for both the presence of lecithin and another chemical called sphingomyelin. If the L/S ratio is at least 2.0 it is a good indication that the lungs are producing enough lecithin for survival. If the ratio is lower, then everything possible is done to ensure that the mother will not give birth yet.

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