Respiratory failure secondary to surfactant deficiency is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in low birth weight immature infants. Surfactant therapy substantially reduces mortality and respiratory morbidity for this population. The statement summarizes the indications for surfactant replacement therapy. Because respiratory insufficiency may be a component of multiorgan dysfunction in sick infants, surfactant should be administered only at institutions with qualified personnel and facilities for the comprehensive care of sick infants.

You do not currently have access to this content.