IN 1959, Usher1 and Reardon2 reported that the mortality rate in newborn infants with the idiopathic respiratory distress syndrome could be lowered by intravenous therapy with glucose solutions containing either bicarbonate or saline. The present study was undertaken in an attempt to better define the role that glucose administration plays in the survival of these distressed newborns.
The study was conducted at the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco. Infants available for the study were those born in the hospital between Feb 1, 1960 and Feb 1, 1962. Any infant who developed persistent respiratory distress with a Silverman retraction score3 of 2 or more in the first 36 hours of life, was eligible for inclusion in the study. Of the 113 infants fulfilling this requirement, 12 were excluded because the infants' pediatricians elected not to include them in the study. Three infants were excluded from the