Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Hosts Sixth Annual Chronic Lung Disease Conference

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Neonatology Update

Group photo from CLD conference On March 10 and 11, 2020, before social-distancing measures were put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a conference of more than 200 medical professionals from across the United States gathered at the Union League of Philadelphia for the Sixth Annual Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) Chronic Lung Disease Conference.

Chronic lung disease (CLD), also known as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), is the most common chronic complication of premature birth. It affects approximately 25% of preterm infants with birth weights less than 1,500 grams and more than 50% of infants weighing less than 750 grams.

BPD/CLD is a heterogeneous disease and a common cause of morbidity in extremely preterm infants,” says Kathleen Gibbs, MD, Medical Director, Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program at CHOP, and Co-course Director for the conference. “Our conference is designed to emphasize the principle that care of these infants is optimized by multidisciplinary collaboration with providers in various fields that will extend beyond hospital discharge. We expanded the conference this year, adding interactive sessions and the opportunity to submit and present research abstracts. We are thrilled to continue to attract internationally recognized speakers who year after year deliver exceptional presentations, highlighting some of the most sophisticated work in our field today.”  

This one-and-a-half-day program united professionals from multiple medical disciplines including physicians, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, bedside nurses, as well as other members of the healthcare team such as occupational therapists, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, speech-language pathologists, dietitians and social workers who provide care for patients with CLD/BPD and their families.

“We are excited to bring together colleagues for our annual conference,” says Kathy Nilan, RN, Nurse Coordinator, Newborn and Infant Chronic Lung Disease Program, and Co-course Director. “This conference truly brings experts from the multidisciplinary CLD team together for a wonderful opportunity for information sharing.”

The conference was honored to have as its keynote speakers Eduardo Bancalari, MD, Director of the Division of Neonatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Kara Goss, MD, a Pulmonologist with University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics. Dr. Bancalari spoke about how understanding and care of BPD has changed over the past 50 years, while Dr. Gross addressed late cardiopulmonary sequelae of premature birth. Session presenters also included CHOP team members, an interdisciplinary mix of specialists from across the country from various institutions caring for patients with CLD, and members of the BPD Collaborative.

Presentation topics included:

  • Discussion of developmental and genetic disorders of the lung
  • Latest research involving imaging and treatment options related to lymphatic flow disorders
  • Discussion of multidisciplinary approach to pulmonary hypertension management
  • Personal account of a family’s journey of care for a medically fragile and technology dependent child
  • Pros and cons of post pyloric feeds
  • Experience of providing nursing care for infants with CLD, including the benefits for the family and challenges for the medical teams

This year’s event also featured the conference’s inaugural poster symposium, as well as an “ask the experts” workshop, breakout sessions and case presentations. Presentation topics included ventilator management, evaluating and improving growth, assessing adequacy of support from a therapy prospective, challenges of maintaining noninvasive interfaces, the role of the placenta in the pathogenesis and management of BPD, and risk assessment and monitoring of pulmonary hypertension.

BPD Collaborative Meeting

On the day following the Chronic Lung Disease Conference, CHOP had planned to host the yearly meeting of the BPD Collaborative, a group comprised of clinicians from 18 different institutions who are committed to improving care and lifelong outcomes of babies with severe BPD. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was cancelled. The BPD Collaborative continues to hold monthly conference calls to continue their work, nurture great discussions and pursue research discoveries.

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