Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis

March 6, 2020 4:09 am Published by

Bronchiolitis is a lower respiratory tract infection that occurs in children younger than two years old. It is usually caused by a virus RSV (Respiratory sincitial virus) being the most common cause. The virus causes inflammation of the small airways (Bronchioles). The inflammation partially or completely blocks the airways, which causes wheezing (a whistling sound heard as the child breathes out). This means that less oxygen enters the lungs, potentially causing a decrease of oxygen in the blood level.

The starting symptoms could be nasal congestion, cough or fever, which might progress to breathing rapidly, wheezing, persistent cough, difficulty feeding and apnea (a pause in breathing for more than 15-20 seconds). Signs of the baby having trouble breathing include; retraction (skin being pulled in and out around the ribs), nasal flaring (the nostril enlarge during breathing) and grunting Any of the signs mentioned above, requires immediate medical attention.

Treatment includes measures to ensure that the child consumes adequate fluids and is able to breathe without significant difficulty. Most children begin to improve two to five days after first developing breathing difficulties, but wheezing can last for a week or longer.  

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