As defined in The Manual of Neonatal Care: “A form of chronic lung disease that occurs in infants treated for prolonged periods of time with oxygen supplementation and mechanical ventilation.” Criteria include artificial ventilation during the first week of life for at least three days, clinical evidence of chronic respiratory disease and blood gas abnormalities.
The seriousness of BPD or CLD is linked to how premature the baby is and how severe the initial lung disease is. The more premature an infant is, the greater the likelihood that CLD will develop. For extremely premature infants, even mild lung problems can lead to CLD. Some full-term infants also develop CLD, but only after severe lung problems in the newborn period.
A child with BPD may need extended ventilator support over many weeks. BPD slows infants' growth and may be associated with delayed long-term development. For some premature infants, CLD is easily treated without supplemental oxygen, drugs or breathing treatments. For others, all of these treatments are needed. Some infants go home on oxygen.
1 Vermont Oxford Network 1997 Database Summary, 444 South Union Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401