Your Newborn's Chronic Lung Disease Program Experience

If your infant is experiencing severe lung and breathing problems, they may be admitted to the Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program at 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).

Upon arriving in the N/IICU, your baby's condition will be evaluated 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, may 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. This careful clinical assessment may include:

  • Assessment of pulmonary mechanics
  • Developmental testing by PT/OT and developmental psychologists
  • Assessment of nutritional status
  • Bone health evaluation
  • Evaluation for gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and aspiration
  • Speech evaluation for oral motor and feeding skills
  • Ultra-low-dose CT angiogram (CTA)
  • Rigid bronchoscopy to evaluate airway anomalies
  • Flex bronchoscopy with or without bronchoalveolar lavage
  • Ventilation/perfusion scan
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • MR lymphangiography
  • Lung biopsy
  • Genetic evaluation

Personalized care for your child

Based on your child’s initial evaluation and ongoing close observations, our team formulates an individualized multidisciplinary treatment plan. We work closely with your family and consulting services to determine which therapies are appropriate your child.

We offer the full range of therapeutic interventions, including:

  • Specialty nursing care to meet your child's daily needs
  • Respiratory support that achieves optimal lung recruitment and minimal lung injury
  • Medical and surgical treatment of reflux
  • A dedicated neonatal pharmacist who assists with medication needs
  • Pulmonary hypertension management in conjunction with our Pulmonary Hypertension Program
  • Tracheostomy, when appropriate, and post-trach care in conjunction with our ENT/Neonatal Airway Program
  • Ongoing nutritional evaluation and intervention by neonatal dietitians
  • Personalized physical, occupational, music and speech therapy to maximize neurodevelopmental potential
  • Treatments to improve bone health in conjunction with our Bone Health team
  • Psychosocial support from social workers, psychologists and child life specialists dedicated to meeting the whole family’s needs
  • Treatment of lymphatic flow disorders, if present, in conjunction with our Center for Lymphatic Imaging and Interventions

Continuity of care

Long-term care for your baby with chronic lung disease is coordinated with:

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

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