respiratory distress syndrome


Definition of respiratory distress syndrome

: a respiratory disorder chiefly of newborn premature infants that is characterized by deficiency of the surfactant coating the inner surface of the lungs resulting in labored breathing, lung collapse, and hypoxemia — compare acute respiratory distress syndrome

Examples of respiratory distress syndrome in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The 'baby' looked like a newborn look-a-like doll The couple claimed Easton Walt Lang was born July 3 and died hours later of respiratory distress syndrome, according to a criminal complaint. Amir Vera And Hollie Silverman, CNN, "A Pennsylvania couple is charged with theft after police allege they faked the birth and death of a child," 16 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'respiratory distress syndrome.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of respiratory distress syndrome

1964, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of respiratory distress syndrome was in 1964

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Cite this Entry

“Respiratory distress syndrome.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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respiratory distress syndrome


Medical Definition of respiratory distress syndrome

: a respiratory disorder that occurs in newborn premature infants and is characterized by deficiency of the surfactant coating the inner surface of the lungs, by failure of the lungs to expand and contract properly during breathing with resulting collapse, and by the accumulation of a protein-containing film lining the alveoli and their ducts abbreviation RDS

called also hyaline membrane disease

— see acute respiratory distress syndrome

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