To evaluate if chest physiotherapy is beneficial to premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) during the first 24 hours of life, 20 infants were randomly assigned to two groups; 10 infants in Group I received routine chest physiotherapy and suction, and 10 infants in Group II received suction only. The birth weight, gestational age, postnatal age, Apgar scores, blood gases, acid-base status, and ventilatory requirements prior to study were comparable between the two groups. There were no significant differences between the groups in the amount of endotracheal secretions removed, the PO2/FIO2 ratio, blood gases, and pH during the study. The incidence of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), Grade I and II intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH), and mortality was comparable. However, five of 10 Group I and zero of 10 Group II infants developed Grade III or IV IVH (P less than 0.05).