Nursing Student
New Grad

23.09 Lung Surfactant for Newborns

Cheat Sheets



  1. Given to premature newborns or sometimes term babies if in respiratory distress
  2. Keeps lungs open and prevents collapse

Nursing Points


  1. Lung surfactant makes it easier for lungs to expand fully
  2. This helps O2 to get into the alveoli and therefore into blood/circulation easier
  3. Given via intubation (ETT) of newborn


  1. Signs of respiratory distress
  2. After administration→ Improved work of breathing and improvement on oxygen saturation

Therapeutic Management

  1. Assist provider with intubation
  2. Secure tube
  3. Administer medication
  4. Assess ABG
  5. Monitor EKG and oxygen levels
  6. Assess vitals
    1. Bradycardia and hypoxia can occur during administration

Nursing Concepts

  1. Pharmacology
  2. Oxygenation

Patient Education

  1. What is is used for
  2. What is expected from it

**DISCLAIMER – In the lesson, the video states that lung surfactant is located in the pleural space, which is incorrect. The correct information is that lung surfactant is made in type II alveolar cells in the alveoli. Both surfactant and pleural fluid work to decrease surface tension.

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