Bronchiolitis: Treatment and management in an urgent out of hours care setting
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractBronchiolitis is an acute inflammation of the bronchioles that predominately affects children but is most common in the first 12 months of life. Viral bronchiolitis is the principal cause of admission in England and Wales, with numbers exceeding 30 000 annually. Occurrence is seasonal, in winter months incidence is typically at epidemic proportions for approximately six weeks. Bronchiolitis presents initially with coryza and a persistent cough; as the infection progresses, tachypnoea, chest recession, or both, may be present alongside wheeze or crackles. The assessment of an unwell child is challenging and as an advanced nurse practitioner, working in an out of hours service, the importance to prevent further deterioration should focus on spotting the sick child at an early stage. Therefore, an initial assessment should be undertaken, prior to taking a history and examination, to ensure patient safety. Bronchiolitis is usually a self-limiting illness, that requires supportive management only with treatment directed at fluid input. However, management approaches to bronchiolitis continue to be a subject of substantial debate with vast differences in practice exhibited in the UK, and beyond. with a lack of consensus regarding management. Therefore, the appropriate management of children presenting with bronchiolitis is challenging and can be overwhelming. Nurses must be aware of the pathophysiology, presentation, diagnosis, and management of children presenting to an out of hours service with bronchiolitis, to manage patients safely.
CitationMortimore, G. (2020). 'Bronchiolitis: Treatment and management in an urgent out of hours care setting'. Practice Nursing, 31(6).