According to a study in the Journal of Perinatology, surfactant therapy through a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) decreases the proportion of newborns with moderate respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) who require mechanical ventilation, when compared with a standard endotracheal intubation procedure with sedation.

In a study of 61 randomized infants with RDS, failure of surfactant treatment strategy to avoid mechanical ventilation was 77% in the ETT group and 30% in the LMA group, according to the study. Researchers emphasized the difference was related to early failure, as late failure rates did not differ between groups and FiO2 decrease after surfactant and rates of adverse events were similar between groups.

The efficacy of surfactant in decreasing RDS severity appears similar with both methods, the researchers also concluded, adding that morphine premedication likely contributed to early post-surfactant failures.