Complications of Chronic Lung Disease
Most babies who have Reference chronic lung disease Opens New Window survive, and many outgrow their lung problems. But complications sometimes develop. Complications that affect the heart and lungs are the most dangerous.
Infants who have chronic lung disease may develop complications shortly after the disease appears, including:
- Respiratory infections. Reference Pneumonia Opens New Window (viral or bacterial) is the most common. Reference Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) Opens New Window is often the cause of these infections.
- Airway obstruction. Some infants who have chronic lung disease experience some obstruction of their airway that is caused by narrowing of and damage to the airway (laryngotracheal stenosis and Reference tracheomalacia Opens New Window), conditions that are associated with prolonged or more frequent use of breathing tubes.
- Infection in the bloodstream (Reference sepsis).
- Increased blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension) leading to enlargement of the right side of the heart and possible Reference heart failure Opens New Window, which occurs in infants who are severely affected.
- Respiratory distress that requires a Reference ventilator Opens New Window to help with breathing throughout early childhood.
Complications that can occur later include:
- High blood pressure. Doctors usually can treat this condition with medicine.
- Growth problems. Compared with other children of the same age, children who have chronic lung disease may be shorter, weigh less, have a smaller head, have hearing or vision problems, and have learning problems.
- Reference Cerebral palsy Opens New Window, which is a group of motor problems and physical disorders that result from a brain injury or abnormal brain development.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: April 27, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Jennifer Merchant, MD - Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine