What are the symptoms of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 27, 2012

Many babies who develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) are born with serious respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). The signs and symptoms of RDS at birth are:

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Sharp pulling in of the chest below and between the ribs with each breath
  • Grunting sounds
  • Flaring of the nostrils

Babies who have RDS are treated with surfactant replacement therapy. They also may get oxygen therapy (oxygen given through nasal prongs, a mask, or a breathing tube). Shortly after birth, some babies who have RDS also are put on machines to help them breathe, such as nasal continuous positive airway pressure (NCPAP) or ventilators.

Most babies who have RDS start to get better within 2 to 4 weeks of their births. However, some babies get worse and need more oxygen and/or breathing support from NCPAP or a ventilator.

A first sign of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is when premature infants—usually those born more than 10 weeks before their due dates—still need oxygen therapy by the time they reach their original due dates. These babies are diagnosed with BPD.

Infants who have severe BPD may have trouble feeding and delayed growth because they can't get enough calories. These babies also may develop:

  • Pulmonary hypertension-Pulmonary hypertension is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries. These arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen.
  • Cor pulmonale-Cor pulmonale is failure of the right side of the heart. Ongoing high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries and right ventricle (the lower right chamber of the heart) cause this condition.


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