To determine if changes in oxygenation and heart rate occur after surfactant, changes in these variables were recorded continuously for 15 minutes before, during, and 15 minutes after the administration of the artificial surfactant ALEC to 21 preterm infants ventilated for respiratory distress syndrome. Median (range) birth weight and gestation were 1199 (561-2680) g and 28 (21-43) weeks, respectively. The mean (SD) time taken for administration was 17.6 (3.8) seconds. No clinically important changes resulted from the administration of ALEC in the mean (SD) values for oxygen saturation (before 91.3 (3.4)%, during 90.7 (3.2)%, after 90.4 (3.7)% and heart rate (before 143 (15), during 138 (17), after 142 (16)). The maximum change in mean arterial oxygen saturation (SaO2) was a fall of 4.8%.
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