Bronchiolitis in babies, what should we know?

The arrival of seasons such as autumn and winter in different latitudes worries both families and health professionals. The reason in general is the increase in the occurrence of respiratory diseases. The lower the age of the child who acquires bronchiolitis, the greater the concern, and even more so when it comes to babies.

Bronchiolitis in babies

Bronchiolitis is a disease of the respiratory tract that occurs when the bronchioles (the smallest and final part of the bronchial tubes) become inflamed due to an infection usually of viral origin. A) Yes, These canaliculi show edema and increased secretions that can cause difficulty in breathing.

According to information present on the page of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics, The appearance of bronchiolitis is more frequent in infants under one year of age and accounts for 18% of all pediatric hospitalizations. In general, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most involved, but adenoviruses and influenza virus may also be responsible.

Bronchiolitis in babies causes breathing difficulties and symptoms similar to those of the cold.

What is the most frequent form of appearance?

After a brief incubation period, manifestations similar to those of a common cold may occur. Thus, Its symptoms include sneezing, watery nasal discharge, cough and episodes of moderate fever.

Progressively, the cough becomes more persistent and what appeared to be a banal box ceases to be. Thus, irritability, rejection of food, increased frequency and respiratory distress can be added. The latter of increasing intensity reaches its maximum expression in general in 24 or 48 hours, at which time most hospital admissions occur, and then gradually improve.

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Data of interest…

According to Dr. M. Luz García García of the Pediatric Service of the Severo Ochoa University Hospital, Alfonso X El Sabio University. Madrid:

"Most are mild forms and the symptoms disappear in less than a week, although the cough, which is the last symptom to disappear, may persist for up to 3-4 weeks."

What should we do before the appearance of the first symptoms of bronchiolitis in babies?

  • On the one hand, it is essential to remain calm so that we can act calmly.
  • It is important to ensure good hydration of the baby to help fluidize the secretions. In addition, it should be borne in mind that, sometimes, agitation and increased respiratory rate require that fluid intake be done in very small amounts and more frequently.

Ensuring adequate hydration is crucial to help the child to fluidize the secretions. Breast milk is the best option for babies.

In this regard, Dr. Ana María Balanzat, head of the Department of Pediatrics of the Hospital de Clínicas de Buenos Aires, Argentina, said:

"The critical aspect of the pathology occurs when the disease progresses and the lung cannot fulfill its basic function of oxygenation, which leads to a picture of respiratory failure."

The lack of oxygen in blood and tissues and the accumulation of carbon dioxide can endanger the life of the child who suffers from it. «In these situations, hospitalization and oxygen administration are required» – he explained.

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Whereas bronchiolitis affects babies and very young children in general, It is important to consult early with a health professional who assesses the child's condition, the type of breathing and hydration, as well as the presence or absence of fever.

Another element worth noting is To avoid the use of tobacco and environments that have a lot of pollution. As a study published in the medical journal BMJ Open concludes, "In the context of exposure to air pollution, tobacco use causes additional loss of lung function and exacerbates respiratory symptoms."

It is suggested to carry out periodic follow-up visits after the treatment for Be attentive to possible complications. It must also be done whether or not evolution is desirable and expected.