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Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs. It usually occurs in children less than two years of age with the majority being aged between three and six months. It presents with coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath which can cause some children difficulty in feeding. This inflammation is usually caused by respiratory syncytial virus (70% of cases) and is much more common in the winter months.

Treatment is typically supportive with oxygen, monitoring, fluid and nutrition perhaps by gastric tube or intravenously. Neutralized hypertonic saline is also useful. There is insufficient evidence to support treatment with antibiotics, surfactant, chest physiotherapy or bronchodilators nebulized epinephrine. Bronchiolitis is common with up to one third of children being affected in their first year of life.

 

 

 

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