To characterize the treatments and short-term outcomes in infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (sBPD) referred to regional neonatal intensive care units.
Infants born <32 weeks’ gestation with sBPD were identified using the Children’s Hospital Neonatal Database. Descriptive outcomes are reported.
A total of 867 patients were eligible. On average, infants were born at 26 weeks’ gestation and referred 43 days after birth. Infants frequently experienced lung injury (pneumonia: 24.1%; air leak: 9%) and received systemic corticosteroids (61%) and mechanical ventilation (median duration 37 days). Although 91% survived to discharge, the mean post-menstrual age was 47 weeks. Ongoing care such as supplemental oxygen (66%) and tracheostomy (5%) were frequently needed.
Referred infants with sBPD sustain multiple insults to lung function and development. Because affected infants have no proven, safe or efficacious therapy and endure an exceptional burden of care even after referral, urgent work is required to observe and improve their outcomes.