Drugs Information Online
Drugs and diseases reference index

Drugs and diseases reference index

Definition of «Bronchopulmonary dysplasia»

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia: A chronic lung disease of babies, which most commonly develops in the first 4 weeks after birth and most often affects babies born at least 4 weeks before term. The lungs do not work properly in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and the baby has trouble breathing, needs extra oxygen, and may need help from a ventilator (breathing machine).

BPD is different from respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), which occurs in premature infants because their lungs do not produce enough surfactant (a liquid material that coats the inside of the lungs making it easy to breathe). Babies with RDS are treated with surfactant replacement therapy and generally do well.

The risk of BPD increases as the baby's weight and time in the mother's uterus decreases. Today, most babies with BPD (9 out of 10) weigh 1,500 grams (about 3 and a half pounds) or less at birth. Babies born weighing less than 1,000 grams (about 2 pounds) are at very high risk. About 1 out 3 of these gets BPD.

BPD does not develop in all infants for the same reasons. Factors predisposing to BPD include immaturity of the lungs, exposure to a high level of oxygen, time on a ventilator, and infections such as pneumonia. About 5,000 to 10,000 babies in the US get BPD each year. Because more babies weighing less than 3 pounds live past 4 weeks, more babies get BPD today than 30 years ago.

Babies with BPD struggle to breathe and show signs of respiratory distress including rapid, shallow breathing (tachypnea), sucked-in ribs and chest (retraction), cough. movement of the chest and stomach (abdomen) in the opposite direction with every breath (see-saw breathing), wheezing (a whistling sound when the baby breathes), "craning" the neck (raising or stretching the neck by using the neck muscles to push more air into the lungs), and repeated periods of "bluing" (cyanosis) due to the low amount of oxygen in the blood.

The treatment of RDS includes the use of: a ventilator until the baby can breathe on its own; extra oxygen until the baby can breathe normally on room air; bronchodilator drugs to improve the flow of air in and out of the lungs; corticosteroids to reduce the swelling and inflammation of the airways; keeping a close watch on the amount of fluids the baby is taking in to avoid fluid build-up in the lungs; diuretics to help remove extra fluid from the lungs; antibiotics to control infections; IV feedings to provide extra nutrition to help the baby recover; special feedings and formula; and physical therapy to help make the baby's chest muscles grow stronger and to keep the lungs clear of mucus.

Babies with BPD are usually treated in a special intensive care unit (ICU) for newborns (neonatal ICU). They may spend several weeks or months in the hospital. Most children today who have BPD recover and many recover fully. However, some children who have had BPD remain prone to colds, flu, and other respiratory infections which may be unusually severe. The children may also grow more slowly than normal.

For More Information «Bronchopulmonary dysplasia»

Comment «Bronchopulmonary dysplasia»