Variability of Care in Infants with Severe Bronchiolitis: Less-Invasive Respiratory Management Leads to Similar Outcomes

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Abstract

Objective

To compare the management of children with severe bronchiolitis requiring intensive care (based on duration of ventilatory support and duration of pediatric intensive care unit [PICU] stay) in 2 countries with differing pediatric transport and PICU organizations.

Study design

This was a prospective observational care study in 2 PICUs of tertiary care university hospitals, 1 in France and 1 in Canada. All children with bronchiolitis who required admission to the PICU between November 1, 2013, and March 31, 2014, were included.

Results

A total of 194 children were included. Baseline characteristics and illness severity were similar at the 2 sites. There was a significant difference between centers in the use of invasive ventilation (3% in France vs 26% in Canada; P < .0001). The number of investigations performed from admission to emergency department presentation and during the PICU stay was significantly higher in Canada for both chest radiographs and blood tests (P < .001). The use of antibiotics was significantly higher in Canada both before (60% vs 28%; P < .001) and during (72% vs 33%; P < .0001) the PICU stay. The duration of ventilatory support, median length of stay, and rate of PICU readmission were similar in the 2 centers.

Conclusion

Important differences in the management of children with severe bronchiolitis were observed during both prehospital transport and PICU treatment. Less invasive management resulted in similar outcomes with in fewer complications.

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