Frequently Asked Questions 

Our patient families often have the following questions:

Does bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) go away?

Usually, the more premature your newborn is, the greater their risk of developing BPD. It tends to be worse during infancy and the first year of life, with significant improvement often seen by age 2 with our close monitoring. In cases of severe BPD, children may need lifelong care. However, we have achieved great success with our multidisciplinary, continual-care approach for children with even severe BPD.

Why does my preemie have pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

Being born prematurely is the number one cause of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in children. Lungs are the last organs to develop in utero, so when a baby is born early, the lungs are not fully developed. Think of each of your baby’s lungs as a tree with an array of blood vessels. When a baby is born early, their vascular tree is like a tree in the winter. It’s missing all its little branches and the leaves in between. This puts pressure on the heart to pump more blood, which can lead to heart conditions and can cause high blood pressure in the lungs, or PH. Not all babies with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have pulmonary hypertension, but when BPD is severe, PH is more likely.

Why does my baby need continued care in your outpatient CRIB Program?

Simply put, to achieve the best care outcomes. We are quite unique in offering continual, seamless care from hospital to home, where we continue your child’s comprehensive care plan through early childhood and sometimes beyond. This approach improves your child’s overall health and development. We notice changes and adjust medication, treatment, and therapies to meet your child right where they are during each age and stage to ensure continued lung tissue growth, heart health, and development. Our care helps decrease hospital readmission.

What should we watch for after we return home?

It’s important to take steps to protect your child from exposure to viruses, bacteria, and environmental toxins that could affect their lungs, which we can help with in our outpatient clinic. For example, getting a respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccination for your child is important. Babies born with bronchopulmonary dysplasia may have a greater risk of developing asthma. Also, know that progress can be slow, so manage your expectations.

Can you care for my child even if we live far away?

Yes. After receiving hospital care at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, the core of the Stanford Medicine Children’s Health network, your child will see us regularly (biannually, annually, or less frequently, depending on your child’s needs) as an outpatient. These visits can be done virtually when needed, and we can also see your child at an outreach clinic when appropriate, helping you receive care closer to home.

If you’re seeking an evaluation from our CRIB Program, please ask your child’s doctor for a referral.

Cardiac and Respiratory Care for Infants with BPD (CRIB) Patient Stories