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.
BPD occurs most often in infants that were born early with immature lungs. Most babies who get BPD recover. However, this is a serious condition that needs care from your doctor.
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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. 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 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 they are stronger and can breathe well enough on their own.
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.
Your doctors will choose a medicine based on your infant's needs. They may include:
- Surfactants—may be given soon after birth to help the infant’s lungs expand the way they should
- 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 (medicine may be taken by mouth or inhaled)
- Diuretics—to help remove extra fluid from the lungs
Lung problems can make feeding difficult. Nutrition therapy can help the infant get stronger and healthier. It may include:
- An IV line that connects directly to a vein
- A feeding tube that is inserted into the stomach
- Special formula for bottlefeeding
Early Intervention Therapy
Early intervention therapy may include several types of therapy. They will help improve your infant's development. It may include special exercises to improve muscle strength and clear mucus from the lungs.
If your infant is diagnosed with BPD, follow your doctor's