Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, or BPD, is a condition in which newborn babies experience difficulty breathing due to scarring of the lungs. Though there are many reasons a baby can develop BPD, it is most commonly caused by lung infections, fluid in the lungs, or the use of a ventilator shortly after birth. Most babies with BPD are born very premature – usually before 26 weeks gestation.
Did you know…
that many babies with BPD eventually outgrow their lung problems? Excellent pediatric pulmonary care, along with good nutrition, can help prevent problems with lung growth and development. It can also help prevent further complications related to BPD.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the symptoms of BPD?
Babies with BPD will experience difficulty breathing, which may look different from infant to infant. For example, a baby with BPD may wheeze, breathe very rapidly or even become winded while feeding. Others may develop pale skin – especially near the lips, nails, and ears.
How will a pediatric pulmonologist diagnose BPD in my child?
Because bronchopulmonary dysplasia is related to lung injury, it is typically diagnosed using a chest x-ray. Scar tissues from BPD are easily visible on x-rays. A child with BPD may have fluid in and around the lungs, or the lungs may trap air or collapse. In order to rule out any underlying causes of BPD, the doctor may order lab tests, lung function tests or heart tests too.
What types of treatments are available to babies with BPD?
Babies with bronchopulmonary dysplasia are initially treated in a hospital setting. They may require a number of treatments to help them recover and begin breathing more normally. Often, this includes oxygen therapy, as well as certain vaccinations that help prevent dangerous infections. In addition, some infants will require diuretics to extract excess fluids from the lungs. Many infants will remain on oxygen therapy long after they have been released from the hospital.