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Oxygen therapy may help preemies avoid ventilators
USA Today

A new study about very premature newborns shows that it’s safe to try a kinder, gentler type of oxygen therapy first before resorting to harsher, more invasive ways to help them breathe. Many very small babies have trouble breathing on their own after birth, partly because their immature lungs are not yet ready to make surfactant, a vital liquid that helps keep their air sacs open. When treating the youngest preemies — those born before 27 weeks of gestation, or more than three months early — doctors traditionally have given them surfactant and put them on ventilators, which involves inserting a tube into their windpipes.