Idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome (IRDS. Synonym: hyaline membrane disease) presents within 4 hours of birth with expiratory grunting, tachypnoea and sternal retraction. These may be followed by cyanosis in room air or in severe cases by recurrent apnoea. Its prevalence increases with increasing prematurity, and is unusual where fetal maturity is greater than 36 weeks.
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