Bronchiolitis in Infants and Small Children

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Bronchiolitis in Infants and Small Children

Interamerican University of Puerto Rico School of Nursing

Bronchiolitis in Infants and Small Children
A common illness of the respiratory tract within infants and children under two is bronchiolitis. This illness causes inflammation in the bronchioles. Hospitalization is often required because small children and infants have smaller airways that become easily blocked. Children who become affected develop cough, wheeze and shortness of breath. This illness reoccurs. I have chosen this topic because my daughter had bronchiolitis for the first time when she was ten months old and she still gets it about every other month. Condition and Illness

Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection, most commonly respiratory syncytial virus also known as RSV, more than half of all bronchiolitis cases are because of RSV. This infection is spread more during the season of winter and early in the spring. Rhinovirus, influenza, and human metapneumovirus are also associated with bronchiolitis. This virus is usually caused because bronchiolar injury and inflammatory and mesenchymal cells leads to pathological and clinical syndromes. Some symptoms for this viral infection are: stuffiness, runny nose, fever, cough, rapid and shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, retractions, flaring of the nostrils, irritability, trouble sleeping, poor appetite, vomiting, dehydration, fatigue and lethargy. Symptoms may worsen quickly, in occasions hospitalization is required. Pathophysiology

Infection of bronchiolar respiratory and ciliated epithelial cells causes more mucus secretion, cell death, and sloughing, followed by a peribronchiolar lymphocytic infiltrate and sub mucosal edema. When debris and edema combine, it causes narrowing and obstruction of small airways. Lessened ventilation of parts of the lung causes ventilation mismatching, results in hypoxia. In the expiratory phase of respiration, further dynamic narrowing...
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