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Preterm Infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome: Incidence Rates,of Death when Treated with Surfactant Replacement Therapies

ase of actual 'real-world' clinical outcomes. The sheer size of the sample as well as the consistency of its results across different hospital settings underscores the validity of the findings. The study controlled for six variables that could have confounded results, and derived data both for the total sample of nearly 25,000 babies as well as for a somewhat smaller group of more than 21,000 babies for whom complete and comparable data are available. For both groups, death rates were nearly 20% lower for babies treated with poractant alfa than for those treated with either beractant or calfactant."

RDS is a condition caused by a deficit in lung surfactant in infants who are born prematurely. Surfactant, a necessary and natural substance, is typically produced in the body about two months prior to birth and is required for proper respiratory function. By reducing the surface tension within the lungs, surfactant enables the lungs to inflate and normal breathing to begin at birth. However, when infants are born pre-term, surfactant may either be absent or be present only in insufficient quantities, preventing the lungs from inflating properly and possibly leading to the development of RDS. The administration of surfactants such as Curosurf(R) Intratracheal Suspension has been widely used to increase infant lung function and decrease the morbidity and mortality associated with RDS.

Rangasamy Ramanathan, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, Associate Division Chief, USC Division of Neonatal Medicine, and Section Head, Division of Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, LAC and USC Women's & Children's Hospital, noted: "I find it intriguing that this very large retrospective study confirms the direction of our own research a few years ago. In a randomized, multi- center trial that was published in the American Journal of Perinatology in 2004, we found a significantly higher survival rate am
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