Respiratory support for infants with bronchiolitis, a narrative review of the literature.


Paediatric Critical Care Research Group, Lady Cilento Children's Hospital, Australia; Mater Research Institute, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; The University of Queensland, School of Medicine, Brisbane, Australia; Critical Care Research Group, Adult Intensive Care Service, The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. Electronic address: [Email]


Bronchiolitis is a common viral disease that significantly affects infants less than 12 months of age. The purpose of this review is to present a review of the current knowledge of the uses of respiratory support in the management of infants with bronchiolitis presenting to hospital. We electronically searched MEDLINE, Cochrane, CINAHL and EMBASE (inception to 25th March 2018), to manually search for clinical trials that address the management strategies for respiratory support of infants with bronchiolitis. We identified 120 papers who met the inclusion criteria, of which 33 papers were relevant for this review with only nine randomized controlled trials. This review demonstrated that non-invasive respiratory support reduced the need for escalation of therapy, particularly the proportion of intubations required for infants with bronchiolitis. Additionally, clear economic benefits have been demonstrated when non-invasive ventilation has been used. The potential early use of non-invasive respiratory supports such as nasal high flow therapy and non-invasive ventilation may have an impact on health care costs and reduction in ICU admissions and intubation rates. High-grade evidence demonstrates safety and quality of high flow therapy in general ward settings.


Bronchiolitis,Infant,Invasive mechanical ventilation,Nasal high flow,Non-invasive ventilation,Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV),Standard oxygen therapy,

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