An Infant 4 Weeks Old Or Younger Is Called A Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease in Your Premature Baby

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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease in Your Premature Baby

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic lung disease is a problem that usually occurs in babies born more than 4 weeks premature (less than 36 weeks gestation), weighing less than 3 ½ pounds (less than 1500 grams), and in the first 4 weeks of birth. Premature babies born with BPD have lungs that don’t work properly, making breathing difficult. Supplemental oxygen is needed and often a ventilator (breathing machine) is needed. Premature babies develop BPD from immature lungs, high oxygen levels, ventilators, infections, pneumonia, or other environmental factors that cause lung inflammation.

Breathing problems in these premature babies need to be treated quickly because this can lead to low blood pressure affecting the premature baby’s brain, heart, liver, and kidneys. . However, doctors must be very careful because some treatments can bring their own problems if used too freely or too often. Many times the risks have to be weighed to see which option is best for the child’s survival and that can change over time.

Some of the symptoms of BPD can include tachypnea, coughing, wheezing, chest retraction, palpable breathing, neck stiffness, and vomiting with blue skin. Doctors confirm the diagnosis and severity of BPD by using a chest x-ray, measuring the length of oxygen needed, and determining whether pneumonia is present. Treating BPD is difficult because there is no specific treatment or medication that eliminates it.

Treating symptoms with oxygen, treating infections with drugs, and keeping the premature baby healthy with adequate fluids will give the baby’s lungs a chance to mature and treat. Sometimes a premature baby may show symptoms of BPD, but the diagnosis may be Respiratory Distress Syndrome (RDS). RDS, also known as Hyaline Membrane Disease, or Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome, is one of the most common lung problems in premature infants. Premature BPD (Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia) survivors tend to grow slower than usual, and are smaller than other children of the same age.

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