Chronic Lung Disease in Infants - Treatment Overview
Your baby may need other treatments in
addition to oxygen therapy.
Consistent and balanced daily nutrition is an
essential part of ongoing treatment for chronic lung disease. A healthy diet
helps an infant's lungs to heal and develop enough to overcome the disease.
Babies who have chronic lung disease need to eat more calories than healthy
babies, because their bodies use more energy than normal to breathe and to fight
Medicines are used to prevent respiratory syncytial
virus (RSV) infections, which babies with chronic lung disease are prone to
getting. For more information, see the topic
Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection.
A smooth transition from the hospital to your home will
help you feel more secure about caring for your newborn. Discharge planning helps to make sure that your baby leaves the hospital safely and smoothly and gets the right care after that. Routine follow-up
visits with your doctor will be an important part of this transition.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
for a condition that's getting worse or for
complications of chronic lung disease varies depending
on the exact problem.
High blood pressure and
growth problems are examples of problems that can
occur. Make sure you know the signs that show the disease is getting worse or
complications are developing. If you know these signs, you will be able to help your child get needed medical
Some of these problems include:
Continued breathing problems. Your baby may
need to return to the hospital if he or she does not get better.
of the airway (laryngotracheal stenosis) can result from
prolonged or more frequent use of breathing tubes.
Tracheomalacia, a condition where the
windpipe collapses, can be caused by having breathing tubes kept in place
for a long time. Symptoms of tracheomalacia include coarse, noisy breathing
(stridor), prolonged exhaling, and a croupy cough. These symptoms become worse
during exertion, such as from crying, or with a cold or other upper respiratory
Respiratory tract infections, such as respiratory
syncytial virus infections. Your child will usually need to go back to the
hospital if this type of infection develops. For more information, see the
topic Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Infection.