Bronchoscopic instillation of surfactant in acute respiratory distress syndrome
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Abnormalities of surfactant action in acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) result in decreased lung compliance and significant hypoxemia. Several case reports and small studies suggest that there is an improvement in patients with ARDS following the administration of surfactant. However, there is no clear-cut ideal method for surfactant administration. The bronchoscopic administration of surfactant may represent an effective method of surfactant delivery in ARDS. Bronchoscopic instillation offers the theoretical advantages that the surfactant may be distributed directly to the desired regions of the lung, a more economical use of surfactant, and the opportunity to lavage leaked serum proteins prior to instillation. Surfactant has been administered in adults with success. We present a case of initial improvement in oxygenation index, ventilation index, and mechanical ventilatory support in a pediatric patient with ARDS following the bronchoscopic administration of surfactant.
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