Three randomised controlled trials were identified. Two trials, by Wu 1999 (50 participants) and Yeh 1977 (35 participants), were included in the review. The trial by Davey 1995, as yet unpublished, was excluded from this review as insufficient information about methodology and results were available. On meta-analysis, there was no significant reduction in mortality [typical RR (, )]. A small but significant increase in duration of oxygen therapy was seen with the use of steroids [WMD hours (, )]. There was no significant difference in duration of hospital stay in the study by Wu 1999 [MD days (-, )]. Duration of mechanical ventilation was reported by Wu 1999 with no significant difference seen [MD - days (-, )]. Incidence of air leak was reported by Yeh 1977 with no significant difference detected [RR (, )]. Long-term outcome was not reported in either of the two studies.