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- Any severe illness requiring oxygen therapy and/or the use of a ventilator for an extended time
- Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)—a lung disorder often affecting premature babies that causes difficulty with breathing
- Collapsed lung
- Premature birth
- Immature lungs
- High blood pressure
- Congenital heart diseases that cause excess blood flow through the lungs such as patent ductus arteriosus
- Subglottic stenosis
- Rapid, shallow breathing
- Difficulty breathing
- Retractions—with each breath, the chest appears to sink in between the ribs or under the ribcage
- See-saw breathing–movement of the chest and stomach in opposite directions with each breath
- Wheezing or noisy breathing
- Wet or cracking sound in the lungs, heard with a stethoscope
- Raising or stretching the neck to push more air into the lungs
- Poor posture of the trunk, shoulders, and neck
- Bluish color to the skin
- Slower than average growth rate
- Arterial blood gas test —a small amount of blood is drawn to determine how much oxygen is in it
- Chest x-ray —radiation is used to take a picture of the inside of the chest
- Chest CT scan —a type of x-ray, which uses a computer to create images of structures inside the chest
- Pulse-oximetry monitoring—a piece of tape containing an oxygen sensor is placed on the infant’s foot; it will tell the doctor how well the lungs are working
- Surfactants—may be given soon after birth to help the infant’s lungs expand the way they should
- Antibiotics—to control infections
- Bronchodilators—to make it easier for air to get in and out of the lungs
- Corticosteroids—to reduce swelling and inflammation of the airways (medicine may be taken by mouth or inhaled)
- Note: Certain corticosteroids are not recommended in pre-term infants. Talk to your doctor about which medication is right for your child.
- Diuretics—to help remove extra fluid from the lungs
- An IV line that connects directly to a vein
- A feeding tube that is inserted into the stomach
- Special formula for bottlefeeding
Early Intervention Therapy
- Eat a healthful diet. Opt for foods low in saturated fat and rich in low-fat dairy. Choose lean protein sources. Include plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in your diet.
- Have early and regular prenatal check-ups.
- Don’t smoke. If you smoke, quit.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
American Lung Association http://www.lungusa.org
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
The Canadian Lung Association http://www.lung.ca
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca
American Lung Association. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/bronchopulmonary-dysplasia. Accessed July 18, 2012.
Bancalari E, Claure N: Definitions and diagnostic criteria for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Semin Perinatol. 2006;30:164-70.
Baveja R, Christou H: Pharmacological strategies in the prevention and management of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Semin Perinatol. 2006;30:209-18.
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 13, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012.
Respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) of the newborn . EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 21, 2012. Accessed July 18, 2012.
Short EJ, Kirchner HL, Asaad GR, et al. Developmental sequelae in preterm infants having a diagnosis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia: analysis using a severity-based classification system. Arch Ped adolesc Med. 2007;16:1082-7.
4/1/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Choosing wisely. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 26, 2014. Accessed April 1, 2014.
- Reviewer: Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 09/2013
- Update Date: 04/01/2014