bronchitis%20-%20uncomplicated%20acute
BRONCHITIS - UNCOMPLICATED ACUTE
Uncomplicated acute bronchitis is a self-limiting infection of the trachea and bronchi that usually lasts for 1 to 3 weeks. A healthy patient experiences sudden onset of cough, with or without sputum production.
It is an inflammatory response to infections of the bronchial epithelium of the large airways of the lungs that begins with mucosal injury, epithelial cell damage and release of proinflammatory mediators.
There is transient airflow obstruction and bronchial hyperresponsiveness.
Purulence can result from either bacterial or viral infection.

Patient Education

Supportive Measures

  • Encourage patient to increase fluid intake to help prevent drying of bronchial secretions and to assist in clearing of sputum
  • Advise bed rest especially when fatigue and fever are prominent
  • Patient should eliminate cough triggers (eg dust and dander)
  • Increase humidity with vaporized air treatments in dry environments

Smoking Cessation

  • Severity of acute bronchitis attacks may be increased by exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollutants, thus avoid second-hand smoke exposure
  • In a patient who smokes, this may be a good opportunity to encourage smoking cessation

Emphasize Lack of Benefit of Antibiotic Treatment

  • Antibiotic therapy is not justified because acute bronchitis is primarily a viral illness
    • Exception is confirmed or probable bacterial infection (eg whooping cough)
    • Management should be individualized and adequately explained to patients
  • There is evidence that patient satisfaction does not depend on receiving antibiotics but on the quality of the patient-physician communication
  • Quality of patient-physician communication may be increased by reviewing the following with the patient:
    • Antibiotics provide little or no benefit in treatment of the disease
    • Risk of unnecessary antibiotic use (eg infection with resistant bacteria, gastrointestinal side effects, risk of allergic reactions)
    • Condition is not serious and is expected to improve without antibiotics
    • Cough is part of the body’s defense mechanism and duration of cough may last 10-21 days

Other

  • Patient should be advised to contact their health care provider if their condition worsens
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