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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a form of chronic lung disease that affects newborns (mostly premature) and infants. It results from damage to the lungs caused by mechanical ventilation (respirator) and long-term use of oxygen. Most infants recover from BPD, but some may have long-term breathing difficulty.

Learn About Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Prematurely born infants have very few tiny air sacs (alveoli) at birth. The alveoli that are present tend to not be mature enough to function normal, and the infant requires respiratory support to breathe. Although life-saving, these treatments can also cause lung damage.

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Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

The symptoms of BPD vary depending on its severity. Several risk factors make the development of BPD more likely but do not automatically lead to BPD.

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Diagnosing and Treating Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

There is no specific test for the diagnosis of BPD, nor is there specific cure.  However, there are treatments that help prevent, delay or minimize the symptoms.

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Living With Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

In general, infants with BPD tend to get better as they grow older. This is because most of the lung growth takes place after birth and throughout childhood. However, how fast and to what degree they will get better, as well as the amount and type of care each patient will need, varies.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Making notes before your visit, as well as taking along a trusted family member or friend, can help you through the first appointment with your doctor.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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