Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) Treatment Center
As the survival of very low birth weight babies increases, the number of babies with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia or BPD increases. For more than 25 years, our follow-up program has been a leader in BPD care and research.
Along with Asthma and Cystic Fibrosis, BPD is one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) estimates the incidence of BPD between 5,000 and 10,000 cases per year.
BPD is a multi-faceted chronic lung disease that affects premature infants and requires a team approach to care. Many of the infants are born with respiratory distress syndrome and require mechanical ventilation to help them breathe. Prolonged ventilator use is the leading cause of BPD. Babies with BPD may need oxygen therapy for several weeks or months after leaving the NICU. Most babies who recover from BPD grow up to have normal, active lives, but recovery can be a slow process. Follow-up in a clinic that manages lung diseases is beneficial.
Families are part of our team
After infants are discharged from the NICU, families attending the BPD Treatment Center have many questions about their babies with BPD. A few voiced concerns include:
- How long will my baby need to be on oxygen?
- My baby frequently pulls the oxygen off. What should I do?
- The monitor never goes off. Does this mean I can stop the oxygen?
- Why is my baby not growing well?
- My baby has reflux. Is this common in babies born premature?
Because improvement for any infant with BPD is gradual and the length of follow-up in the BPD Treatment Center is ongoing, family support throughout the healing process is crucial. The BPD Treatment Center utilizes a family-centered approach that empowers families to be good caregivers and active member on the team. Families help to identify problems, help create the best care plan based on their child’s needs and family’s resources, and help track progress and appropriateness of the plan.
Vanderbilt is one of five neonatal clinical research centers in the United States awarded Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program (PROP) funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the NHLBI to investigate the respiratory complications affection premature infants. The BPD Center is currently tracking over 200 participants in the PROP program.
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