We studied four infants whose mothers had had leaks of amniotic fluid for varying periods before birth. Three were associated with compression deformities. Oxygenation was achieved only by overriding the pressure limit safety devices on the resuscitation apparatus and ventilating after birth with high inflation pressures. In all cases the ventilation pressures had to be further increased for 12 hours but rapid improvement followed on the second day so that all four were spontaneously breathing air after a few days. It is postulated that collapse of the airways resulted from oligohydramnios, and that the resulting 'dry lungs' would only respond to high inflation pressures.
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