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What is BPD and how is it linked to premature birth?

| Jun 26, 2015 | Birth Injuries

Newton parents who are expecting a baby need to mitigate their excitement with the realization that birth is a medical situation just like any other change in the human body. Both mother and newborn are vulnerable to medical issues and injuries. In some situations, this can be due to circumstance. In others, it is due to a mistake made by the medical professionals providing the care. Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia is a problem that can happen when a baby is born prematurely. It’s important to understand it when considering whether or not an error was made by the medical staff leading to it.

BPD happens most frequently in babies born more than 10 weeks before their scheduled due date. It results in an inflammation and scarring of the baby’s lungs. Every year in the U.S., an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 babies will have BPD. There are more babies with this issue today than in the past, but that number is slightly misleading because more babies survive premature birth today. Babies that have BPD might often have experienced respiratory distress. If this is the case, they might require a ventilator, which can exacerbate BPD.

Recovering from BPD can take some time. It is possible that a baby who has had BPD will need to be given medication, treatments to assist breathing and possibly oxygen in the home. While many children recover and there is no problem with BPD after one year, some severe occurrences might need a ventilator for years or even for the entire duration of their lives. In the first two years of life, lung infections are problem. In some cases, to avoid the potential damage that a respirator can cause, a baby will be given oxygen nasally via a machine.

When a baby is born prematurely, it could happen for no explainable reason. However, there might have been a warning sign that the doctors and staff missed or a mistake made that caused the mother to deliver prematurely. Since babies with BPD will need an extensive hospital stay and serious care, there will be hefty medical expenses. In extreme cases, there will be a need for long-term care.

If there is a belief that a medical mistake led to premature birth and BPD, it is important to speak to a legal professional to determine the possibility of litigation to be compensated.

Source: American Lung Association, “Understanding Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD),” accessed on June 22, 2015


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