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William A. Silverman, M.D.; Dorothy H. Andersen, M.D.
JAMA. 1955;157(13):1093-1096. doi:10.1001/jama.1955.02950300021004.
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It has been suggested that premature infants who develop respiratory obstructive signs in the first few days of life may be benefited by an environment that is saturated with various amounts of water. Potter1 has stated that the incidence of hyaline-like membrane in the lung was reduced when newborn infants were raised in atmospheres of 90 to 95% relative humidity. Gellis and Hardy2 have indicated a possible prophylactic effect on pulmonary hyaline membranes of atmospheres supersaturated with water. More recently Ravenel3 has advocated the use of a detergent solution, Alevaire, consisting of Triton WR-1339 (oxyethylated tertiary octylphenol-for-maldehyde polymer) 0.125%, glycerine 5%, and sodium bicarbonate 2% in distilled water, for nebulization into the incubators of all premature infants to combat neonatal asphyxia due to the inhalation of amniotic fluid, with or without atelectasis. Despite rational theoretical considerations and favorable clinical impressions about the effectiveness of these measures, no


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