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This is a health lesson on Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia


P.E. & Health  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Health Lesson on BPD
By – Benjamin Jacobs
Primary Subject – Health / Physical Education
Secondary Subjects – Health / Physical Education
Grade Level – 9-12 
“When You Cannot Breath, Nothing Else Matters”
American Lung Association

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

What is Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) is a type of lung disease that some premature infants get during the first few months of life. Premature infants often need extra oxygen and help in breathing the first few days of life. BPD seems to be a reaction of the baby’s lungs to the oxygen and the pressure used to keep his lungs working normally. We still don’t know why premature babies get this disease. We don’t have any way of preventing it. We do know that the more oxygen and/or pressure that the baby needs over the first weeks of life, the greater the risk of BPD

How will I know if my baby has BPD?
BPD is usually diagnosed if a baby continues to have an abnormal chest x-ray and still needs oxygen by the time a baby is 36 weeks of gestation (a month before the due date). However, your baby’s doctor may be concerned enough to treat your baby’s continuing lung disease long before this date. A baby with BPD may also demonstrate one or more of the following:

    • rapid breathing

    • more difficult breathing

    • wheezing or noisy breathing

    • wet or crackling sound to the lungs heard with a stethoscope

    • more difficult time growing

How is BPD treated?
A baby with BPD needs extra oxygen for a long period of time. This maybe several weeks or months, occasionally for more than a year. Babies with BPD may be discharged on home oxygen.

Some babies are treated with other medications. These might include:

    • Steroids – drugs to decrease the body’s reaction to oxygen

    • Diuretics – drugs to help the body to get rid of extra water

    • Drugs to decrease wheezing

~The outlook for growth and development of babies with BPD varies. It depends more on the effects of prematurely and acute respiratory failure, rather than BPD itself. In very severe cases there may be some long-term limitations. These might include abnormalities in coordination, gait and muscle tone, inability to tolerate exercise, vision and hearing problems, and learning disabilities. The risk of these problems varies greatly among individual patients but is actually quite small. Parents of BPD infants need not assume that their child has a high risk of such developmental handicaps. If they should occur, however, parents and families can obtain information about these problems from their baby’s doctors. Prepared by: Ben Jacobs

Benjamin T. Jacobs
Health Lessons on Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
For Health Class at the high school level or college

Students will be able to understand and demonstrate knowledge of how BPD is developed in babies.
Students will become more aware of possible physical challenges that people with BPD go through.

Materials Needed:
Set up equipment for a power point presentation. Slides should be prepared that can reflect the above information on the handout and also go into more detail using sound and video.

Note from This lesson plan uses a handout that is not included. You may be able to create your own version of the handout, do without the handout, or contact the author at the e-mail address at the bottom of this lesson plan to request a copy.

Time: 30 minutes

Reason for Lecture:
This is a follow-up lecture on how lungs develop and what can happen during development at different stages.
More information can be located on the Internet. Students could do a Web Quest based on gathering information on other lung disease.

E-Mail Benjamin Jacobs !

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