Respiratory Distress in the Newborn: An Approach for the Emergency Care Provider

Suzanne Suprenant, Meghan A. Coghlan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The emergency care provider has a crucial role in the evaluation and management of respiratory distress in the newborn and can see infants presenting at time of birth to many months old. Respiratory distress in the newborn is important to recognize as it can present anywhere along a spectrum of severity from tachypnea to respiratory failure. In addition, it may represent a primary respiratory disease or be the harbinger of a systemic illness or problem in another organ system. Timely assessment, recognition of signs of newborn respiratory distress, and proper newborn airway management and assisted ventilation are the key initial steps in treatment. Once the infant is stabilized, being familiar with the normal newborn physical examination and vital sign parameters as well as the pertinent historical questions to ask can help rule in or out different causes of respiratory distress and help guide definitive treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-121
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • emergency department
  • newborn
  • respiratory distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Emergency Medicine


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