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Use of Bronchodilators Down for Bronchiolitis Treatment in Infants

High hospital-level bronchodilator use not associated with better outcomes; adjustment follows AAP recommendations to limit routine use for bronchiolitis

childhood asthma

TUESDAY, July 6, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Bronchodilator therapy for the treatment of bronchiolitis in infants decreased significantly from 2010 to 2018 , according to a study published online July 6 in Pediatrics.

Kristen H. Shanahan, M.D., from Boston Children's Hospital, and colleagues assessed trends in and outcomes associated with the use of bronchodilators for bronchiolitis. Using 2010 to 2018 data from 49 children's hospitals, the authors reviewed 446,696 emergency department visits involving infants (<12 months of age) with bronchiolitis.

The researchers found that bronchodilator use, hospital admission, and emergency department return visits decreased during the study period. However, intensive care unit admission and invasive and noninvasive ventilation increased during the study period. Early bronchodilator use at the hospital level (high versus low utilization) was not associated with differences in patient-level hospital admission, intensive care unit admission, emergency department return visits, noninvasive ventilation, or invasive ventilation.

"This study supports the current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to limit routine use of bronchodilators in infants with bronchiolitis," the authors write. "Future study may define a subgroup of infants with bronchiolitis who respond to bronchodilators."

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