RSV bronchiolitis. Diagnosis and treatment

RSV bronchiolitis.  I’ve seen lots of bronchiolitis in the hospital recently.

babyDiagnosis and treatment.  Does your infant or young child have a hacking cough?  It may be respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

Most patients present with two to four days of upper respiratory tract symptoms (like fever, runny nose and head congestion).  Then the symptoms go lower like with a hacking cough, wheezing, and increased work of breathing.

How does your kid get this?  RSV is transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets either from an infected person or they infected themselves by touching contaminated secretions on a surface and then touching their mouth/nose/eyes.

As difficult as this is with all of our fancy equipment, the treatment is supportive.  What does supportive mean? It means we give the patient oxygen if they are hypoxic (have low oxygen) and we give intravenous fluids if the patient is dehydrated.  Our “fancy” stuff like epinephrine, steroids, hypertonic saline, bronchodilators, and antibiotics are often NOT helpful.

Is there a way to avoid this infection?  Yes.   There is a prophylactic medication that is given to 3 types of patients: 1.  infants who were born premature (BEFORE 29 weeks gestation) or 2. infants with chronic lung disease or 3. premature infants and children with significant heart disease.  This medication is called  palivizumad which is a humanized monoclonal antibody, given in up to five monthly doses.

About drlesliegreenberg

I have been practicing as a family physician for over 20 years--as both an educator of physicians and clinician. From infancy to the elderly, I perform obstetrics and general medicine. I love my career and am passionate about my field of knowledge and my patients. Follow me on Facebook at Leslie Md Greenberg Medical Disclaimer The content of this website is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended as, nor should it be considered a substitute for, professional medical advice. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating any medical or health condition. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider.
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