Bronchiolitis is a clinical diagnosis preceding upper respiratory illness and/or rhinorrhea.
Signs of respiratory illness which may include wheezing, retractions, oxygen desaturation, color change, nasal flaring.
There is also presence of apnea especially in premature or low birthweight infants, signs of dehydration and exposure to persons with viral upper respiratory infections.
Symptoms are usually worst on the 3rd-5th day of illness and then improve gradually.
Bronchiolitis in infancy carries a three- to fivefold increased risk of developing respiratory illnesses, including asthma, wheeze, and lower and upper respiratory tract infections in the first 5 years of life, a study has found.
In the management of paediatric bronchiolitis, high-flow oxygen therapy appears to be superior to standard oxygen therapy in terms of rate of escalation of care due to treatment failure, according to the results of a trial.
Allowing for an observation period of between 11 to 25 hours is necessary for assessing the risk of delayed desaturation in hospitalised infants with bronchiolitis, according to a study. This should guide the identification of infants who may be immediately and safely discharged from the emergency department (ED).
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