Treatments for Chronic Lung Disease of Prematurity in Children

How is chronic lung disease of prematurity diagnosed?

CLD is a chronic disease and appears gradually, so your baby’s physician will consider several factors; chest X-rays may show a bubbly, sponge-like appearance in affected lungs.

How is chronic lung disease of prematurity treated?

Your baby’s physician will determine a course of treatment based on your baby’s gestational age, overall health, the extent of the disease, your baby’s tolerance for specific medications, procedures and therapies, and your opinion or preference. Treatment may include:

  • Extra oxygen
  • Mechanical ventilation with gradual weaning as your baby’s lungs grow.
  • Medications such as bronchodilators, which help open your baby’s airways, and steroids, which will reduce inflammation.
  • Limiting fluids, as excess fluid can worsen breathing ability
  • Proper nutrition
  • Immunizationagainst lung infection by influenza

Some babies with CLD require mechanical ventilators for several months. Some will continue to require oxygen even after they leave the hospital, but most can be weaned by the end of their first year.