Together for Short Lives
Call the Helpline 0808 8088 100

The change in management of bronchiolitis in the intensive care unit between 2000 and 2015

Journal title
European journal of pediatrics
Publication year
Mecklin, M.; Heikkila, P.; Korppi, M.

This case-control study evaluated interventions for bronchiolitis in relation to time in the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) during a 16-year surveillance period. Together, 105 infants aged < 12 months were treated for bronchiolitis in the PICU, and for them, we selected 210 controls admitted for bronchiolitis closest to cases. We collected data on treatments in the PICU, at the ward and in the emergency department for three periods: years 2000-2005, 2006-2010, and 2011-2015. Median hospital length of stay for PICU patients were 7 days (interquartile range 5-12), 5 days (4-8) and 8 days (4-12.5, p = 0.127), respectively. By time, the use of inhaled beta-agonist (68 vs. 44 vs. 38%, p = 0.019) and systemic corticosteroids (29 vs. 15 vs. 5%, p = 0.019) decreased, but that of racemic adrenaline (59 vs. 78 vs. 84%, p = 0.035) and hypertonic saline (0 vs. 0 vs. 54%, p < 0.001) inhalations increased in the PICU. Similar changes were seen at the ward. In the PICU, non-invasive ventilation therapies increased significantly, but intubation rates did not decline. CONCLUSION: Beta-agonists and systemic corticosteroids were used less by time in intensive care for infant bronchiolitis, but the use of hypertonic saline and racemic adrenaline increased, though their effectiveness has been questioned. What is Known: * Until now, studies have shown which treatments do not work in bronchiolitis, and so, there is no consensus how infants with bronchiolitis should be treated. In particular, there is no consensus on different interventions in intensive care for bronchiolitis. What is New: * During 2000-2015, treatments with inhaled beta-agonists and systemic corticosteroids decreased but treatments with racemic adrenaline and hypertonic saline inhalations increased in intensive care for bronchiolitis. Similar changes were seen at the ward. Though non-invasive ventilation therapies increased, the intubation rate did not decline.

Research abstracts