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Pediatr Emerg Med Pract. 2019 Oct;16(10):1-24. Epub 2019 Oct 2.

Acute bronchiolitis: assessment and management in the emergency department.

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Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics; Assistant Chair of Pediatric Emergency Medicine Quality Improvement, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Florida College of Medicine-Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL.
University of Florida at Jacksonville Pediatrics, Jacksonville, FL.


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 issue reviews the literature to provide evidence-based recommendations for effective evaluation and treatment of pediatric patients with acute bronchiolitis.


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