Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a term used to describe long-term breathing problems for premature babies. It involves abnormal development of the lungs of babies that were born prematurely, and in the most severe cases, the lungs are scarred and inflamed.
- "Broncho" refers to the airways (the bronchial tubes) through which the oxygen we breathe travels into the lungs.
- "Pulmonary" refers to the lungs' tiny air sacs (alveoli), where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.
- "Dysplasia" means abnormal changes in the structure or organization of a group of cells. The cell changes in BPD take place in the smaller airways and lung alveoli, making breathing difficult and causing problems with lung function.