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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia – Five More Questions That You Should Ask Your Doctor

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If your baby has been diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasis, you may wish to ask your physician the following five questions:

1. What line of treatment will you follow for my baby?
This depends upon the doctor’s decision after going through the reports and medical condition of your baby after his examination. However, there is no treatment that is specific for BPD. Symptomatic treatment is given so that their lungs have the time to mature. The baby's lungs improve over a period of time through normal repair processes. Some treatments procedures are listed below:

• Surfactant to improve lung aeration
• Antibiotics to control infections
• Ventilators to make up for respiratory failure
• Supplemental oxygen to tackle hypoxia
• Management and control of fluids to avoid pulmonary edema
• Treatment for patent ductus arteriosus, a circulatory problem sometimes found in premature infants.
• Giving the baby medicines that improve air flow in and out of the lungs
• Feedings and appropriate supplemental formula to prevent malnutrition
• Bronchodilator medications to improve airflow in the lungs such as albuterol, muscarinic, cromolyn, methylxanthines
• Physical therapy to improve muscle performance and to help the lungs expel mucus

2. Is it possible that complications may arise for my baby with BPD?
Possible complications may include:
• Repeated respiratory infections, like pneumonia, bronchiolitis, may occur
• Some air duct changes may not not go away
• Pulmonary hypertension
• Intubation that stretches into weeks may cause subglottic stenosis and tracheomalacia
• Pulmonary edema
• Sensitive and reactive airways
• Bronchospasm
• Slow growth may occur as a result of increased work of breathing and a subsequently high caloric expenditure

3. Who forms the risk group for BPD?
Risk groups include babies born with congenital heart diseases, those born prematurely (22- 32 weeks of gestation), babies with low birth weights (usually less than or equal to 1 kilograms or 2.2 pounds), infants with severe respiratory or lung infection, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) or sepsis. Risk factors also include any condition the baby has that requires medium to long term treatment with oxygen or a ventilator.

4. What are the prevention tips for BPD?
BPD is often a result of under-developed lungs requiring external assistance to function in babies born pre-term. So the prevention actually comes from trying to prevent premature onset of labor and deliveries. This is also coupled with taking care that the baby has the right birth weight. In some cases when the pregnancy seems to be headed towards premature delivery, the doctors may recommend giving the woman corticosteroids to avoid the early onset of labor. Lastly, a baby with BPD conditions should be taken off external breathing devices as soon as it is possible. Instead the new and improved surfactant therapy should be used in it’s place.

5. What is the prognosis for babies with BPD?
The prognosis is not very encouraging and requires time and patience from caregivers. I have outlined the prognosis for babies afflicted with BPD below:
• Recovery is slow/time-taking
• Oxygen therapy may have to be continued on schedule fixed by the doctor even after release from hospital
• Survival rate is 50 percent, depending on the acuity of BPD and often blotched with long-term pulmonary sequelae, reduced ability to exert and a hyper-sensitive air passage.
• Chronic lung damage is possibility because of the prolonged use of NPAP, intubation, etc.
• The rate of growth of children with BPD may be slower than normal and continue into the baby's second year.


Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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