Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)

What is BPD?

Chronic (or long-term) lung disease of prematurity is sometimes called bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Broncho - it affects your child’s airways

Pulmonary - it affects your child’s lungs

Dysplasia - your child’s airways and lungs are not fully developed

BPD may occur in babies born too early for their lungs to fully develop. They usually have breathing problems from birth and may need ventilation (treatment with a machine to support their breathing), surfactant and oxygen. 

Babies with BPD may need additional oxygen and other treatments after going home from hospital. It usually gets better with time.

BPD can lead to difficulties with lung health in later life. This often depends on how severe it is and whether your baby develops any complications.

In general, babies and children with BPD tend to get better as they grow older. This is because most of the lung growth takes place after birth and throughout childhood. However, how fast and to what degree they will get better, as well as the amount and type of care your child will need, varies.

More information:

Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.