Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that mainly affects infants born prematurely. Babies with BPD have trouble breathing because their lungs do not work properly. The condition usually develops during the first four weeks after birth.
Most babies who get BPD recover, but this is a serious condition that requires care from your doctor.
—radiation is used to take a picture of the inside of the chest; done to check for respiratory problems
Chest CT scan
—a type of x-ray, which uses a computer to create images of structures inside the chest; performed to check for respiratory problems.
Pulse-oximetry monitoring—a piece of tape containing an oxygen sensor is placed on the baby’s foot; it is connected to a monitor that tells the doctor how well the lungs are working
There is no specific treatment for BPD. Symptoms are treated to help the baby get strong and to allow the lungs to mature. Your child will most likely be treated in a hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. He or she may need to stay in the hospital for an extended period of time.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your child. Treatment options include the following:
A breathing machine is used until the baby can breathe well enough on his or her own.
Once the baby no longer needs a ventilator, he or she may be given extra oxygen through a mask or a nasal tube. Treatment could continue for weeks or even months. Your baby might still need to receive oxygen after coming home from the hospital.
Antibiotics—to control infections
Bronchodilators—to make it easier for air to get in and out of the lungs
Corticosteroids—to reduce swelling and inflammation of the airways
Diuretics—to help remove extra fluid from the lungs
Surfactants—to help the baby’s lungs expand the way they should
An intravenous (IV) line that delivers food may be attached to a vein. Or, a feeding tube may be inserted into the stomach. Special formula might also be given to the baby. This extra nutrition should help the baby get stronger and healthier.
Special “exercises” help the baby’s muscles get stronger and help keep the lungs clear of mucus.
If your baby is diagnosed with BPD, follow your doctor's instructions.
There are no set guidelines for preventing BPD because the exact cause is not known. However there are some things you can do to help ensure you will give birth to a healthy baby:
Eat a healthful diet, one that is low in saturated fat and rich in low-fat dairy, lean protein sources, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Short EJ, Kirchner HL, Asaad GR et al: Developmental sequelae in preterm infants having a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia: analysis using a severity-based classification system.
Arch Ped adolesc Med
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care
provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a
substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER
IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the
advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to
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