Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), previously also known as Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy is a lung disorder most commonly seen in premature children who have below par birth weight and have been receiving mechanical ventilation for a prolonged period of time for treatment of respiratory distress syndrome.
Causes of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is known to occur in infants who are severely ill and have required oxygen treatment for a prolonged period of time. As stated above, it is mostly commonly found in premature babies in whom the lungs are not fully developed at the time of birth.
The Risk Factors for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) are as Follows:
- Congenital cardiac disorders
- Babies who are both in less than 32 weeks gestation
- Acute infection of the lungs
Signs and Symptoms of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy
The Different Signs and Symptoms of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) in Infants are:
- The skin becomes cyanotic
- Baby has severe cough
- Baby displays rapid breathing pattern
Diagnosis of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy
The Different Tests Conducted for the Diagnosis of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) in Infants are:
- CT scan of the chest
- X-ray of the chest
- Pulse oximetry testing
Treatment of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease of Infancy
For treatment of BPD, the baby usually requires mechanical ventilation so that the lung tissue stays inflated and more oxygen is delivered to the body. Even after being taken off the ventilator, the baby may still require oxygen treatment through nasal tube for a prolonged period of time going into months. Babies with BPD are usually fed through nasogastric tubes. Such babies need extra nutrition as they require extra effort to breathe. Fluids are avoided in babies with BPD so as to avoid the lungs being filled with water. They may also be given diuretics for that purpose. Other medications that can be used are bronchodilators, corticosteroids, etc.
Babies suffering from BPD tend to have an extended hospital stay. Even after being discharged form the hospital, the babies may need oxygen treatment. It is imperative for babies with BPD to receive appropriate amount of calories and nutrition during their recovery phase. Such babies need to be protected from contracting colds and other infections of the respiratory tract and thus it becomes imperative that parents take precautions while taking care of the baby so as to protect the baby.
Some of the Precautions that Should be Taken are:
- Before touching the baby, the hands should be washed thoroughly.
- Avoid others touching the baby repeatedly.
- Avoid other children from being close to the baby.
- Smoking should be avoided near the baby.
Prognosis and Potential Complications of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) or Chronic Lung Disease Of Infancy
Infants suffering from BPD recover gradually with time. As mentioned, babies need oxygen treatments for a prolonged period of time hence there are cases where the baby may not survive the treatment or left with lung impairments.
Other Possible Complications in Infants with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) are:
- Developmental delays
- Inadequate growth
- Pulmonary hypertension