Differentiating bronchiolitis from asthma and reactive airway disease in young children can be challenging, and a rapidly changing clinical presentation can confound accurate assessment of the severity of the illness.
Acute bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in young children that leads to emergency department visits and hospitalizations. Bronchiolitis is a clinical diagnosis, and diagnostic laboratory and radiographic tests play a limited role in most cases. While studies have demonstrated a lack of efficacy for bronchodilators and corticosteroids, more recent studies suggest a potential role for combination therapies and high-flow nasal cannula therapy. Frequent evaluation of patient clinical status including respiratory rate, work of breathing, oxygen saturation, and the ability to take oral fluids are important in determining safe disposition.
This summary of the treatment recommendations for pediatric bronchiolitis, supported by various guidelines provides, a systematic approach to ED assessment of such patients.
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Last Updated on October 15, 2021