Bronchitis in children: Should it be on your radar?

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Author: Rachael Zimlich
Date: Aug. 2021
From: Contemporary Pediatrics(Vol. 38, Issue 8)
Publisher: Intellisphere, LLC
Document Type: Article
Length: 832 words
Lexile Measure: 1600L

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Cough is one of the top reasons for outpatient pediatric visits, accounting for nearly 30 million visits each year in the United States alone. (1) There are lots of varieties when it comes to cough--acute, chronic, bacterial, viral--and viral upper respiratory infections are mostly to blame.

One diagnosis that is often associated with cough in adults--both acute and chronic bronchitis--is rarely found in the pediatric population, according to Jeffrey S. Gerber, MD, PhD. Gerber is an attending physician in the Division of Infectious Diseases and medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. Children are highly susceptible to acute respiratory infections in general, but the cause is often left underdetermined because many cases resolve on their own. "Bronchitis is rarely used as a diagnosis, and, when it is, the recommendation has always been no antibiotics in otherwise healthy children," Gerber said.

The "no antibiotics" stance may be firm in research, but the battle can be difficult in the outpatient setting, as parents continue to worry about which bacteria or virus is making their child sick. In the COVID-19 climate, these concerns could be escalated.

The cause of the cough

Upper respiratory infections are a major cause of illness, hospitalization, and death in...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A676131327