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A 33-year-old member asked:

How do they know it is hyaline membrane disease vs. some other kind of breathing disorder?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Ferguson
Pediatrics 47 years experience
Dx based on pattern: This is conidered a pattern illness.The name hmd came from the hyaline membrane found on microscopic examination of lung tissue from infants with this illness.The DX is considered if a pattern of xray, oxygen need & prematurity make it likely. Antibiotics are often started just in case a pneumonia is acting like hmd. You often know more after you finish rx, not treating can result in disaster.
Dr. Jason Adler
Pediatric Critical Care 25 years experience
Clinical acumen: Making a diagnosis is one of the most important things that physicians do. With respect to hmd (hyalin membrane disease), there are certain factors that help the clinician make a diagnosis (or exclude others): situational awareness regarding birth history and risk factors like prematurity, examination findings, laboratory and chest xray findings. At times, this can be difficult, but often not.
Last updated Jul 21, 2014
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