Continuing medical education courses (or CMEs) are educational events designed to keep medical professionals up to date on the latest information in their fields.
These professionals earn credits toward their ongoing certification when they participate and complete a CME, which are offered as live events or as online programs, via various electronic and written media.
Often CMEs are created by—or at least funded by—pharmaceutical companies, which makes them suspect in many eyes. However, many courses offer really fabulous information that can be understood by a layperson—especially a layperson who has a chronic illness (or cares for someone with a chronic illness).
I recently came across two CME events (like this one) that had seminars devoted to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a form of chronic lung disease that strikes fear into the hearts of any parent of a premature baby.
BPD is caused, sadly, by the use of the oxygen therapy preemies so desperately need.
In babies delivered more than 10 weeks prematurely, their little lungs haven’t had time to develop enough to function on their own; they have to work harder to get enough oxygen to support brain health, and the lungs are more susceptible to infections and inflammation.
These babies, who usually weigh less than two pounds at birth, need a machine—called a ventilator—to help them breathe. Or they need additional oxygen delivered through nasal prongs, a mask, or a breathing tube.
Unfortunately, the pressurized air blown into the babies’ lungs and the high levels of oxygen put the babies at risk for BPD.
Babies who have BPD may have continuing health problems, and their parents need all the information and support they can get.
When I look at some of the CMEs available, I can’t help but think that PARENTS need that information, too.