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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), also called chronic lung disease (CLD), is a long-term respiratory condition that affects children born prematurely. The pediatric pulmonologists with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and expertise to care for children with bronchiolitis.
Premature babies born earlier than 34 weeks and weighing less than 4 pounds, 6 ounces, are more likely to have infant respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). RDS causes rapid, shallow breathing and a sharp pulling in of the chest below and between the ribs with each breath.
Babies with RDS need a mechanical ventilator and extra oxygen to breathe on their own. Since the growing lungs in these babies are very fragile, they may be injured in this process, causing inflammation and possible scarring in the lungs. If these symptoms persist, then the condition is classified as BPD if the baby is dependent on oxygen at 36 weeks.
Additionally, a baby may develop BPD if:
The pediatric pulmonologists with Norton Children’s Pulmonology work with neonatologists in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) to evaluate and manage a baby’s oxygen and medication needs to promote lung growth. Treatments may include:
We also help parents understand BPD and how to manage the condition when their child goes home. Even after leaving the hospital, babies with BPD may need continued medicines, breathing treatments and oxygen at home.
As children with BPD grow, they will need to be monitored, as they are more likely to develop asthma or wheezing. Additionally, they are more at risk for complications from common respiratory conditions, such as the flu and RSV. Identifying and treating issues early can help prevent further complications to lung function.
Our center specializes in caring for children with any type of respiratory disorder. Careful consideration is given to prescribe the best possible method of therapy following nationally accepted guidelines for treating bronchopulmonary dysplasia, where applicable.