Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is abnormal development of the lungs in infants. It is considered a chronic lung disease. BPD can make it difficult for the infant to breathe. The condition usually develops in the first four weeks after birth.
The exact cause of BPD is unknown. It is most often associated with complication of early lung disease or their treatments. These conditions or treatments can cause irritation and swelling of lungs and airways. This can lead to BPD.
Factors that increase your infant’s risk of developing BPD include:
Symptoms may include:
Your infant’s medical history will be taken. A physical exam will be done.
Your infant’s bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Your infant’s lung function may be tested. This can be done with pulse oximetry monitoring.
Images may be taken of your infants bodily structures. This can be done with:
There is no specific treatment for BPD. The main focus is to treat any symptoms. If needed, treatment may include support for your infant's breathing. This will help the infant get strong and allow the lungs to mature.
Your infant will most likely be treated in a hospital. An extended hospital stay may be needed. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for your infant. Treatment options include the following:
A breathing machine is used to move air in and out of lungs. It can support your infant's breathing until he or she is stronger and can breathe well enough without help.
Oxygen may be delivered through a mask or nasal tube. It may be done by itself or after the ventilator is no longer needed. This treatment could continue for weeks or even months. Your infant may still need oxygen after coming home from the hospital.
Medication will be chosen based on your infant's needs. Medications may include:
Lung problems can make feeding difficult. Nutrition therapy can help the infant get stronger and healthier. It may include:
There are no set guidelines for preventing BPD. However, there are some things you can do to decrease the risk of a premature birth and ensure you will give birth to a healthy infant such as:
American Lung Association
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
The Canadian Lung Association
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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 12, 2014. Accessed September 8, 2014.
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4/1/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Choosing wisely. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 26, 2014. Accessed April 1, 2014.
Last reviewed August 2014 by Kari Kassir, MD
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 starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.