Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are the Symptoms of BPD?

Babies with BPD may have:

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Blue coloring around the lips and nails due do the low amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Sucked-in ribs and chest
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Poor posture of the neck, shoulders and trunk

How is BPD Detected?

The doctor usually finds BPD by taking an X-ray of the infant's chest when the baby is recovering from respiratory distress syndrome. In babies with BPD, the X-rays may show lungs that appear spongy.

How is BPD Treated?

Babies with BPD are usually treated in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) until they are able to breathe well enough on their own without the support of a machine. The time an infant with BPD spends in the NICU can range from several weeks to a few months.

While they are in the NICU, babies are kept warm using a radiant warmer or incubator. They are given fluids and nutrients through a vein. Their blood pressure, heart rate, breathing, temperature and fluid intake are monitored.

Infants with BPD also are treated with medications:

  • Bronchodilators (such as albuterol) to help keep the airways open
  • Diuretics (such as furosemide) to reduce the buildup of fluid in the lungs
  • Antibiotics sometimes are needed to fight bacterial infections because babies with BPD are more likely to develop pneumonia.