Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a
BPD; Chronic lung disease – children; CLD – children
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
BPD occurs in very ill infants who received high levels of oxygen for a long period. BPD can also occur in infants who were on a breathing machine (
BPD is more common in infants born early (prematurely), whose lungs were not fully developed at birth.
Risk factors include:
Congenital heart disease
Prematurity, usually in infants born before 32 weeks gestation
Severe respiratory or lung infection
Risk of severe BPD has decreased in recent years.
Bluish skincolor (cyanosis)
- Shortness of breath
Signs and tests
Arterial blood gas
CT scan Chest x-ray
- Pulse oximetry
IN THE HOSPITAL
Infants who have breathing problems are often put on a ventilator. This is a breathing machine that sends pressure to the baby’s lungs to keep them inflated and to deliver more oxygen. As the baby’s lungs develop, the pressure and oxygen are slowly reduced. The baby is weaned from the ventilator. The baby may continue to get oxygen by a mask or nasal tube for several weeks or months.
Infants with BPD are usually fed by
Parents of these infants need emotional support. This is because BPD takes time to get better and the infant may need to stay in the hospital for a long time.
Infants with BPD may need oxygen therapy for weeks to months after leaving the hospital. Follow your health care provider’s instructions to ensure your baby gets enough nutrition during recovery. Your baby may need tube feedings or special formulas.
It is very important to prevent your baby from getting colds and other respiratory infections, such as
A simple way to help prevent RSV infection is to wash your hands often. Follow these measures:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap before touching your baby. Tell others to wash their hands, too, before touching your baby.
- Ask others to avoid contact with your baby if they have a cold or fever, or ask them to wear a mask.
- Be aware that kissing your baby can spread RSV.
- Try to keep young children away from your baby. RSV is very common among young children and spreads easily from child-to-child.
- Do not smoke inside your house, car, or anywhere near your baby. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of RSV illness.
Parents of babies with BPD should avoid crowds during outbreaks of RSV. Outbreaks are often reported by local news media.
Your baby’s health care provider may prescribe the medicine palivizumab (Synagis) to prevent RSV infection in your baby. Follow instructions on how to give your baby this medicine.
Babies with BPD get better slowly over time. Oxygen therapy may be needed for many months. Some infants have long-term lung damage and require oxygen and breathing support. Some infants with this condition might not survive.
Babies who have had BPD are at greater risk of repeated respiratory infections, such as
Other possible complications in babies who have had BPD are:
Calling your health care provider
If your baby had BPD, watch for any
To help prevent BPD:
- Prevent premature delivery whenever possible. If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, get prenatal care to help keep you and your baby healthy.
- If your baby is on breathing support, ask the health care provider how soon your baby can be weaned (gradually removed) from the ventilator.
- Your baby may receive a substance called surfactant to help keep the baby’s lungs open.