On March 7, more than 120 medical professionals from across the United States, Canada and Sweden gathered at the Union League of Philadelphia for the Fourth Annual Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Chronic Lung Disease Conference.
Severe chronic lung disease (CLD) of infancy, also known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), is the most common chronic complication of premature birth. It affects approximately 25 percent of preterm infants with birth weights less than 1,500 grams, and more than 50 percent of infants weighing less than 750 grams. Infants with BPD frequently require lengthy hospital stays and costly post-discharge medical care. A diagnosis of BPD is a strong predictor of long-term impairment in lung function, cardiovascular health, growth and neurodevelopment.
The one-day conference brought together physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurses, respiratory therapists, nutritionists, pharmacists and developmental therapists who provide care for patients with BPD. The conference was followed by a special meeting of the BPD Collaborative, which is comprised of 13 institutions with multidisciplinary teams dedicated to optimizing outcomes of infants and children with severe BPD.
“As one of the largest clinical program for severe CLD nationally and internationally, our team is dedicated to advancing clinical care, long-term outcomes and research,” said Huayan Zhang, MD, Director, Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program at CHOP, and co-course director of the conference. “We are thrilled to bring together colleagues from around the country and world, all dedicated to this same mission.”
Aimed to share clinical expertise and updates on current research, treatment and advances in the care of infants with severe BPD, this conference provided both a broad picture in the disease management and practical bedside care techniques. World experts in BPD management and research, as well as local experts, presented on topics such as:
- The current State of BPD, from defining and caring for BPD to BPD-associated pulmonary hypertension
- The next horizon in potential new treatments
- Interdisciplinary bedside management highlights of nursing care, tracheostomy management and chronic sedation
- Current management concepts and difficulties in care and the need for more data to guide future therapies (facilitated by comparing the management of two large BPD care centers)
“As a nurse, co-leading this conference was very gratifying,” said Kathy Nilan, RN, nurse coordinator, Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program at CHOP, and co-course director. “It was important to us that this course include speakers from a range of perspectives, including experts from pediatrics, neonatology, pulmonology, otolaryngology, pharmacy and nursing, to share the latest in the research, management and long-term needs of infants with severe CLD.”