respiratory distress syndrome

or hyaline membrane disease

Common complication in newborns, especially after premature birth. Symptoms include very laboured breathing, bluish skin tinge, and low blood oxygen levels. Insufficient surfactant in the pulmonary alveoli raises surface tension, hampering lung expansion. The alveoli collapse (see atelectasis), and a “glassy” (hyaline) membrane develops in the alveolar ducts. Once the leading cause of death in premature infants, the syndrome is now usually treated for a few days with a mechanical ventilator (see respiratory therapy), with no aftereffects. An adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) can follow lung injury.

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The word distress has various meanings:-

  • Distress (medicine) occurs when an individual cannot adapt to stress. See also fetal distress, respiratory distress.
  • Distress is a kind of suffering.
  • In Maritime and Aircraft terms, distress is defined as "grave and imminent danger to life or person or vessel or aircraft, needing immediate assistance". Such a state is indicated by a mayday radio call.
  • Distress is also used by Search and Rescue services to describe targets in adverse or critical conditions.
  • Distress can also refer to the process whereby materials are worn down by time and natural forces.
  • Distressing in woodworking and the decorative arts is the art of making furniture and household objects look old.
  • In law, distress, or distraint, is the act of seizing goods to compel payment, or the goods thus seized.
  • Distress is a novel by Greg Egan

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