Surfactant in premature births

Scottish Health Purchasing Information Centre
Record ID 31998009044
Authors' objectives:

This report aims to answer the following questions:

What are the benefits of giving surfactant to premature babies?

Should surfactant be given to all premature babies at birth, or only to those who develop breathing difficulties - ie prophylaxis or rescue?

Which type of surfactant is best - natural or synthetic?

Authors' recommendations: Surfactant is a valuable treatment for very premature babies and saves lives. It is probably best used as a prophylactic given at birth for the very youngest (under 29 weeks gestation) and as a rescue treatment for those over 30 weeks gestation. It is not certain which is best for the borderline group at 29-30 weeks. The cost of the drug is offset by savings in care; there are more survivors but the cost per survivor is reduced. The preparations of choice at present appear to be pumactant (Alec) for prophylaxis and beractant (Survanta) for rescue. The availability of surfactant does not reduce the value of antenatal steroids for premature births.
Authors' methods: Overview
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1996
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Scotland, United Kingdom
MeSH Terms
  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Fetal Organ Maturity
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
Organisation Name: Scottish Health Purchasing Information Centre
Copyright: Scottish Health Purchasing Information Centre
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