Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a lung disease that occurs most often in babies who were born severely premature—more than 10 weeks before their due date. Babies with BPD have inflammation and scarring in the lungs.

BPD usually is a complication in premature infants being treated for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). RDS is a condition in which the baby's lungs are not developed enough to take in the air they need.

Babies with RDS must have oxygen and often need to be on a breathing machine to prevent brain damage and to save their lives. But the oxygen premature babies need can damage their lungs. When it must be delivered into the babies' lungs by a machine, it may be even more damaging. The infants whose lungs require this treatment are at risk for developing BPD.

Many infants with BPD recover and improve with time, achieving normal or near normal function.