Your Newborn's Chronic Lung Disease Program Experience

If your infant is experiencing severe lung and breathing problems, your baby may be admitted to the Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Your baby will be evaluated by our experienced, multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses and support staff in the Harriet and Ronald Lassin Newborn/Infant Intensive Care Unit (N/IICU).

Your infant’s condition will be assessed to determine the:

  • Extent of the chronic lung disease (CLD)
  • Presence and degree of pulmonary hypertension
  • Degree to which other factors, such as reflux and aspiration, contribute to your baby’s lung disease.

Your child’s evaluation will begin with a physical exam and complete medical history. Diagnostic tests will be ordered based on your child’s condition and may include:

  • Pulmonary function testing (PFT)
  • CT angiogram (CTA)
  • Echocardiogram/EKG
  • Developmental evaluation
  • Nutritional/bone health evaluation
  • Speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy evaluations
  • Bronchoscopy and ear, nose and throat (ENT) evaluation
  • Evaluation for gastroesophogeal reflux (GER) and aspiration
  • Ventilation/perfusion scan
  • Cardiac catheterization

Personalized treatment

Based on your baby’s evaluation, diagnostic testing, and information from your family and the referring physician, our multidisciplinary team will create a customized treatment plan for your baby.

We offer the full range of therapeutic interventions, including:

  • Optimization of ventilator type and settings to ensure your baby achieves optimal lung volume and minimize the chances of further lung injury
  • Proper use of pulmonary medications
  • Medical and surgical treatment of your baby's reflux
  • Pulmonary hypertension management in conjunction with the Pulmonary Hypertension Program
  • Tracheostomy when appropriate, and post-trach care for your baby, in conjunction with the Neonatal Airway Program
  • Ongoing nutritional evaluation and intervention by neonatal dietitians
  • Personalized therapy (PT/OT/speech) to meet your baby's developmental needs
  • Specialty nursing care to meet your baby's daily needs
  • Dedicated neonatal pharmacists to assist with your baby's medication needs
  • Treatments to improve your baby's bone health in conjunction with the Center for Bone Health

Continuity of care

Long-term care for your baby with chronic lung disease is coordinated with our Neonatal Follow-up Program, the Division of Pulmonary Medicine, the Pulmonary Hypertension Program and — in the case of infants with tracheostomies — the Technology Dependence Center.

When treatment in our intensive care setting is no longer needed, our team will help you and your baby transition to home, the referring hospital, or a chronic care facility.

We work with social workers, case managers and, when indicated, the Progressive Care Unit and the Technology Dependence Center, to empower you to care for your child at home whenever possible.

Reviewed on April 16, 2014