Sunday, October 22, 2006

A follow-up

My husband, a medical student, says the baby probably died of
"neonatal respiratory distress syndrome; it happens with premature
children who don't make enough surfactant, the chemical that keeps the
air sacs of the lungs open". He said "purple hands is cyanosis, a
sign of lack of oxygen", and that "a 48 hour 'grace period' is typical
because the baby starts with some, but it gets inactivated faster than
it is regenerated". "sadly, there are both prenatal and postnatal
things that could have been done": "they give steroids if it looks
like a baby will be delivered prematurely, which reduces mortality by
50%; less good is if a baby shows signs after birth they can give it

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