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Questions for Your Pediatrician If Your Baby Contracts Bronchiolitis

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If your pediatrician suspects that your child has contracted bronchiolitis, you may want to get answers to the following questions:

1. What exactly is bronchiolitis?
Bronchiolitis is a contagious viral infection that usually affects infants and children by causing inflammation of the bronchioles. The virus is known as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or human pneumovirus.

2. What virus / bacteria has my baby been infected with?
Though bronchiolitis is most often caused by the RSV virus, it can also be brought in by any of the parainfluenza, coronavirus, metapneumovirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus.

3. What is the worst case scenario I can expect for the baby?
If timely medical intervention is not given, a bronchiolitis patient may suffer respiratory failure, dehydration, high fever and severe fatigue. Such cases require admission in to hospital for close monitoring, intubation, nebulization, intra-venous fluids, etc., to avoid it becoming fatal.

4. What tests will the baby have to go through?
Bronchiolitis is successfully diagnosed by running a combination of tests to get conclusive results.
• The most useful is of course, a chest x-ray to eliminate the presence of pneumonia or lodged foreign object inhaled by the patient.
• The next step in the diagnostic approach is to use a stethoscope to check for wheezing and labored breathing.
• A nasopharyngeal mucous swab is also taken to check for virus type.
• Blood tests are also ordered to check both white blood cell count as well as blood oxygen levels.
• Visible signs of dehydration are often taken into account especially if the child has lost appetite such as fatigue, dry mouth, wrinkled skin, etc.

5. What will be the medications will my baby have to take?
Since bronchiolitis is a viral infection, antibiotic usage is ruled out unless the bronchiolitis has led to the development of secondary infectious conditions such as pneumonia, middle ear bacterial infection, etc., where antibiotics need to be prescribed to treat the secondary condition.

On its own, bronchiolitis is treated with supportive therapy such as with usage of bronchodilators like Ventolin, Salbutamol, Ipratropium or even Racemic epinephrine, etc., to ease breathing. Anti-viral drugs such as Ribavirin may also prove effective.
Physical methods are also employed to clear the nasopharangeal duct to help easy airflow through the air passage. Suction may be done through a nasogastric tube. At times CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) type mechanical ventilation devices may be used to aid breathing.
Depending on visible symptoms nebulization, humidifiers and intravenous fluids may be given to overcome immediate crisis.

Mamta Singh is a published author of the books Migraines for the Informed Woman (Publisher: Rupa & Co.) and the upcoming Rev Up Your Life! (Publisher: Hay House India). She is also a seasoned business, creative and academic writer. She is a certified fitness instructor, personal trainer & sports nutritionist through IFA, Florida USA. Mamta is an NCFE-certified Holistic Health Therapist SAC Dip U.K. She is the lead writer and holds Expert Author status in many well-received health, fitness and nutrition sites. She runs her own popular blogs on migraines in women and holistic health. Mamta holds a double Master's Degree in Commerce and Business. She is a registered practitioner with the UN recognised Art of Living Foundation. Link: http://www.migrainingjenny.wordpress.com and http://www.footstrike.wordpress.com

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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