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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia of Newborn

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia of Newborn

What is bronchopulmonary dysplasia? — Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (called "BPD" here) is a serious disease that causes breathing problems. It happens in babies who are born early and have a lung condition called "respiratory distress syndrome," or "RDS."
How do doctors usually find BPD? — Babies who get BPD are already in a part of the hospital called the "neonatal intensive care unit," or "NICU." That's because they have RDS. Doctors and nurses in the NICU take care of newborn babies who are sick or were born too early. They watch babies with RDS for signs that their breathing problems are not going away.
Doctors know a baby has BPD if the breathing problems are still happening 4 weeks before the baby's original due date. Signs that a baby still has problems include:
Needing extra oxygen
Needing a machine to help with breathing
Will my child need tests? — Yes. Babies in the NICU get daily exams. If a baby has breathing problems, he or she will also get chest X-rays. The X-rays can show signs of BPD.
How is BPD treated? — Most babies who have BPD get better in 2 to 4 months. Depending on your baby's situation, doctors might keep giving treatments to make sure he or she gets enough oxygen. These treatments include:
Using a breathing machine
Giving extra oxygen through a special hood, tubes in the nose, or a face mask
Other treatments can include:
Giving breast milk or formula that has extra nutrition – Babies who have BPD can use up more energy than other babies.
Giving the baby less fluid – This can help the lungs work better because it can lower the amount of fluid in the lungs. If this does not work well, doctors can also give medicines called "diuretics" to help pull fluid out of the lungs. This makes breathing easier. But these medicines are not usually needed.
If your baby has BPD, he or she might be in the hospital for several weeks or months after birth. The doctors and nurses in the NICU can help you spend time with your baby while he or she is there.
Babies with BPD can have other medical problems after they leave the hospital. These can include:
High blood pressure – This usually lasts about 4 months.
Eye and ear problems
Heart problems
Development problems – Babies who had BPD might not learn to do normal activities as quickly as other babies the same age.
The doctors and nurses in the NICU will watch for these problems and help you get treatment if they happen to your baby.
Can BPD be prevented? — Doctors can do some things to lower the risk that a baby will get RDS. This is important because having RDS is what puts a baby at risk for BPD. Doctors can:
Give steroid medicines to a pregnant woman who might have her baby early – This lowers the risk of RDS that can lead to BPD.
Give your baby treatments to lower the risk of RDS, such as:
•Using a device called a "continuous positive airway pressure" machine (or "CPAP") to help the baby breathe
•Giving the baby a medicine called "surfactant" to help the lungs work better
All topics are updated as new evidence becomes available and our peer review process is complete.
This topic retrieved from UpToDate on: Mar 30, 2020.
Topic 83626 Version 4.0
Release: 28.2.2 - C28.105
© 2020 UpToDate, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved.

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