Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most often caused by prematurity. The more premature an infant, the more likely they are to develop chronic pulmonary disease. The risk of chronic lung disease is higher in infants who require aggressive resuscitation, supplemental oxygen, or mechanical ventilation after birth. The degree of chronic lung disease often take several months or years to qualify. Premature infants may require supplemental oxygen for several months or longer after birth. These infants may develop symptoms of asthma and maybe more prone to develop complications from respitory illnesses. Complications of BPD often become less severe and less frequent as the child grows.
What is BPD and what causes it ?
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease most often caused by prematurity. BPD is often more severe based on the degree of prematurity and requirement for respiratory support after birth. The cause of BPD is not fully known however it seems to be due to incomplete development of the lungs and perhaps damage from excess oxygen after birth.
Who gets BPD?
Mostly premature infants
What are the symptoms of BPD?
- Extended requirement for respiratory support after birth
- Symptoms of reactive airway disease or asthma in an infant
- Requirement for supplemental oxygen after birth
- Rapid breathing rate
- Increased frequency and severity of respiratory illness
- Poor growth
How is BPD diagnosed?
- Symptoms and signs of BPD are often first noticed in the neonatal intensive care unit.
- These infants have an extra or prolonged need for respiratory support
- Chest x-ray may reveal chronic lung changes
- Additional testing may also be suggested for BPD
How is BPD treated?
Treatment for BPD is mostly supportive. There is no way to fix lung tissue that is already damaged. However, the lung may repair itself to some degree. Also, the damage itself may become less important as the lungs grow and the child ages.
Your child may need one or more of the following:
- Supplemental oxygen
- Diuretics are a class of medications that help the body excrete excess water from the lungs
- Bronchodilators are a class of medicines used for asthma and other lung disease
- Corticosteroids are a class of medications that help reduce lung inflammation
- Respiratory Syncytial virus (RSV) immunoglobulin may be used for some high risk infants
- All the routine vaccinations should be kept up to date
Last Updated (Friday, 04 June 2010 20:43)