If your baby has been diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasis, you may wish to ask your physician the following five questions:
1. What line of treatment will you follow for my baby?
This depends upon the doctor’s decision after going through the reports and medical condition of your baby after his examination. However, there is no treatment that is specific for BPD. Symptomatic treatment is given so that their lungs have the time to mature. The baby's lungs improve over a period of time through normal repair processes. Some treatments procedures are listed below:
• Surfactant to improve lung aeration
• Antibiotics to control infections
• Ventilators to make up for respiratory failure
• Supplemental oxygen to tackle hypoxia
• Management and control of fluids to avoid pulmonary edema
• Treatment for patent ductus arteriosus, a circulatory problem sometimes found in premature infants.
• Giving the baby medicines that improve air flow in and out of the lungs
• Feedings and appropriate supplemental formula to prevent malnutrition
• Bronchodilator medications to improve airflow in the lungs such as albuterol, muscarinic, cromolyn, methylxanthines
• Physical therapy to improve muscle performance and to help the lungs expel mucus
2. Is it possible that complications may arise for my baby with BPD?
Possible complications may include:
• Repeated respiratory infections, like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, may occur
• Some air duct changes may not not go away
• Pulmonary hypertension
• Intubation that stretches into weeks may cause subglottic stenosis and tracheomalacia
• Pulmonary edema
• Sensitive and reactive airways
• Slow growth may occur as a result of increased work of breathing and a subsequently high caloric expenditure
3. Who forms the risk group for BPD?
Risk groups include babies born with congenital heart diseases, those born prematurely (22- 32 weeks of gestation), babies with low birth weights (usually less than or equal to 1 kilograms or 2.2 pounds), infants with severe respiratory or lung infection, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or sepsis.