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CME: Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome (NRDS): Therapeutic Updates, Present Clinical Controversies, and Barriers to Care


Activity Description / Statement of Need:

In this online, self-learning activity:


Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) occurs in 10.1% of preterm infants born at 34 weeks’ gestational age (GA), corresponding to an over 40-fold increased risk as compared to their 39- to 40-week-GA counterparts. The risk decreases with increasing GA; at a GA of 37 weeks, the risk has fallen to just to just three times that of a full-term infants. Aside from premature birth, risk factors include: maternal gestational diabetes, male infant, and multiplets.

Target Audience:

The following healthcare professionals: neonatologists; physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, and pharmacists who clinically encounter neonatal patients with RSD.

This program is supported by an educational grant from Mallinckdrodt and Chiesi.

Release Date: March 31, 2018 -- Expiration Date: March 31, 2020

Faculty: Jack Sills, MD


Setting the stage

  • Neonatal anatomy and physiology: lung development and endogenous surfactant
  • Effects of premature birth: pathophysiology and complications
  • Epidemiology
  • Clinical presentation, laboratory findings, and differential diagnosis
  • Patient case(s)

Treatment options available for RSD

  • Brief review of nonpharmacologic interventions: nasal continuous positive airway pressure, endotracheal intubation
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Antenatal corticosteroid therapy
  • Caffeine
  • Surfactant therapy: types, indications, timing, administration technique
  • Inhaled nitric oxide: place in AAP and European Consensus guidelines, pulmonary hypertension or hypoplasia
  • Effects of therapy on morbidity and mortality in in the near- and long-term
  • Supportive care
  • Complications and their management
  • Patient case(s)

Learning Objectives

By the end of the session the participant will be able to:

  • List the differential diagnosis of common respiratory disorders of the neonate and distinguish between them given a patient case
  • Describe the role pharmacologic agents, including pulmonary surfactants and inhaled nitric oxide, play in neonatal RDS treatment guidelines
  • Describe the clinical effects of pharmacologic agents, including pulmonary surfactants and inhaled nitric oxide, on premature neonates
  • Manage a neonatal patient case with RDS


ACCME Activity #201226432


Faculty Disclosure and Resolution of COI

As a provider of continuing medical education, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure balance, independence, objectivity, and scientific rigor in all of its educational activities. In accordance with this policy, faculty and educational planners must disclose any significant relationships with commercial interests whose products or devices may be mentioned in faculty presentations, and any relationships with the commercial supporter of the activity. The intent of this disclosure is to provide the intended audience with information on which they can make their own judgments. Additionally, in the event a conflict of interest (COI) does exist, it is the policy of ScientiaCME to ensure that the COI is resolved in order to ensure the integrity of the CME activity. For this CME activity, any COI has been resolved thru content review ScientiaCME.


Faculty Disclosures:


Dr. Jack H. Sills, MD, Clinical Professor Pediatrics, University of California, Invine, CA has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.



Disclosures of Educational Planners: Charles Turck, PharmD has no relevant conflicts of interest to disclose.


Commercial Support Disclosure: This program is supported by an educational grant from Mallinkdrodt and Chiesi.


  • Read the learning objectives above
  • Take the Pre-Test (optional). Completion of the pre-test will help us evaluate the knowledge gained by participating in this CME activity.
  • View the online activity. You may view this is in more than one session, and may pause or repeat any portion of the presentation if you need to.
  • Minimum participation threshold: Take the post-test. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass and proceed to the activity evaluation.
  • Complete the activity evaluation and CME registration. A CE certificate will be emailed to you immediately.

Cultural/Linguistic Competence & Health Disparities

System Requirements

Windows 7 or above
Internet Explorer 8
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Mac OS 10.2.8
Safari or Chrome or Firefox
*Adobe Acrobat Reader
Internet Explorer is not supported on the Macintosh

*Required to view Printable PDF Version

Perform Pre-Test (optional)

Please take a few minutes to participate in the optional pre-test. It will help us measure the knowledge gained by participating in this activity.