Bronchiolitis is the most common cause of hospitalization in infants and children less than 2 years of age. Patients typically present with signs of an upper respiratory tract infection that then progress to symptoms consistent with a lower respiratory tract infection. The key to diagnosis is the history and physical examination; labs and chest radiography are not routinely necessary or recommended. Treatment is largely supportive as many of the therapies that are effective in other respiratory diseases are ineffective in the treatment of bronchiolitis. Emphasis should therefore be on prevention and reducing transmission of the disease. Areas of focus for the prevention of bronchiolitis include administration of palivizumab prophylaxis in selected infants and children, hand hygiene, elimination of tobacco smoke exposure, encouragement of breastfeeding, and family education.
Keywords: Breastfeeding, Bronchiolitis, Bronchodilators, Children, Corticosteroids, Hand hygiene, Hypertonic saline, Infants, Oxygen, Palivizumab, RSV, Respiratory distress, Respiratory syncytial virus, Smoking.