Skip to Content

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a long-term condition that affects your baby's lungs. BPD is also called chronic lung disease. This condition usually occurs in a premature baby whose lungs are inflamed and damaged. This prevents the baby's lungs from working properly and leads to serious breathing problems.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.


An IV is a small tube placed in your baby's vein that is used to give him medicine or liquids.


  • Antibiotics help prevent or treat an infection.
  • Blood pressure medicine may be given to lower your baby's blood pressure. This protects his heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and other organs.
  • Bronchodilators may be given to help open your baby's airways and help him breathe easier.
  • Diuretics may be given to help your baby's body and lungs get rid of extra fluid. This can help your baby breathe easier. Diuretics may make your baby urinate more often.
  • Steroids may be given to help decrease inflammation in your baby's windpipe and lungs. This opens his airways so he can breathe easier.


  • A gastrostomy tube is a soft tube that is put into your baby's stomach during surgery. It is also called a feeding tube, G tube, or percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube. The tube comes out of your baby's stomach through a small incision in his abdomen. This tube is used to give your baby liquids, food, and medicine. It may also be used to let air or fluids out of your baby's stomach. Your baby may have a gastrostomy tube for a short or long time.
  • A nasogastric (NG) tube is used to feed your baby or empty his stomach. It is inserted into your baby's nose and into his stomach. Your baby may need this tube if he has problems eating. Tell a healthcare provider if the tube comes out of your baby's nose.
  • Total parenteral nutrition (TPN) provides your baby's body with nutrition, such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. TPN is given to your baby through an IV.


  • An EKG test records the electrical activity of your baby's heart. It is used to check for problems that can happen if his heart is too large.
  • A pulse oximeter measures the amount of oxygen in your baby's blood. A cord with a clip or sticky strip is placed on your baby's toe, finger, or earlobe. The other end of the cord is hooked to a machine. An alarm will sound if your baby's oxygen level is low or cannot be read. Never turn the pulse oximeter or alarm off.
  • Vital signs include your baby's blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. These give healthcare providers information about your baby's current health.


  • Arterial blood gases (ABGs) measure the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your baby's blood. Blood is usually taken from an artery in your baby's wrist.
  • Blood tests may be needed. Blood tests give healthcare providers information about how his body is working.
  • A chest x-ray is a picture of your baby's lungs and heart. It can help healthcare providers diagnose your baby's condition, or plan or monitor treatment.
  • A CT scan , or CAT scan, is a type of x-ray that uses a computer to take pictures of your baby's lungs. He may be given a dye before the pictures are taken to help healthcare providers see the pictures better. Tell the healthcare provider if he has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast dye.
  • An echocardiogram (echo) uses sound waves to show pictures of your baby's heart on a monitor. The echo can also show the size of the heart, how well it pumps, and how well blood flows through it.
  • A ventilation (V) and perfusion (Q) test is also called a VQ or VP scan. A VQ scan is a 2-part test that takes pictures of your baby's lungs. During the perfusion part of the test, dye is injected into your baby's blood vessels. Pictures are taken to see how blood flows in his lungs. During the ventilation part of the test, your baby will breathe in a type of gas. Pictures are taken to see how well his lungs take in oxygen.
  • Cardiac catheterization is a test to see how well your baby's heart is working. A tube is threaded into your baby's heart through a blood vessel in his arm, leg, or neck. Dye may be given so x-ray pictures of your baby's blood vessels show up better. Your baby's healthcare provider may also measure the pressure inside your baby's heart.

Breathing support:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a machine that keeps your baby's airway open during sleep. Your baby wears a mask over his nose. The mask is hooked to the CPAP machine. The machine blows a gentle stream of air into the mask. The stream of air helps keep his airway open so he can breathe more regularly. Extra oxygen may also be given through the machine.
  • An ET tube goes from your baby's mouth or nose into his windpipe. It is connected to a ventilator to help him breathe easier. The ET tube will be taken out when your baby is breathing better.
  • Oxygen may be given if your baby's blood oxygen level is lower than it should be. Oxygen will help your baby breathe easier. Your baby may get oxygen through small tubes placed in his nostrils, or through a mask. He may be placed in an oxygen tent. Never take off your baby's oxygen tubes or mask or remove him from the tent without asking his healthcare provider first.
  • Suction may be needed to remove liquid from your baby's mouth, nose, and lungs. This is done using a small tube that is placed in your baby's mouth or nose. Suction can help your baby breathe easier.


Your baby may have anemia or poor weight gain. His bones may become soft and weak. He may have high blood pressure or high blood sugar. Without treatment, his breathing problems may cause low oxygen levels and affect his heart and brain. He may be more likely to have infections and problems with his heart. His growth may be slower than normal. Your baby may also have problems with his vision, hearing, or learning ability.


You have the right to help plan your baby's care. Learn about your baby's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your baby's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your baby.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2021 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

IBM Watson Micromedex

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.