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Bronciolitis Outpatient Clinic
Citizens Medical Center’s Cardiopulmonary Department introduced a new service in January. They are providing outpatient care for children diagnosed with bronchiolitis. By providing this care in an outpatient setting, the child/family usually avoids hospitalization. Bronchiolitis is generally caused by RSV.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that leads to mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can be more serious in young babies, especially to those in certain high-risk groups. It is the most common germ that causes lung and airway infections in infants and young children. Most infants have had this infection by age two. Outbreaks of RSV infections most often begin in the fall and run into the spring. The infection can occur in people of all ages. The virus spreads through tiny droplets that go into the air when a sick person blows their nose, coughs, or sneezes. Symptoms vary and differ with age. They usually appear four -six days after coming in contact with the virus. Older children usually have only mild, cold-like symptoms, such as cough, stuffy nose, or low-grade fever. Infants under age one may have more severe symptoms and often have the most trouble breathing. They are often unable to cough the secretions from the respiratory tract.
After a child is evaluated by a provider, a nasal swab can confirm the presence of RSV. The patient may be referred to the outpatient bronchiolitis clinic. The Cardiopulmonary staff will assess the patient and assign a score according to the protocol used. Deep suction using a suction catheter begins to clear the airways. A follow-up assessment and scoring will be done. Further suctioning will be done based on the score. The child’s parent or caregiver is taught how to suction the secretions with a bulb suction and given signs/symptoms to be aware of and a follow-up appointment based on the need. Generally, the child is followed for five to seven days in the outpatient clinic and has a follow-up appointment with the provider.
CMC’s newest Respiratory Therapist, Kevin Johnson, observed/participated in a bronchiolitis clinic while doing a clinical rotation at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. Kevin is a 2011 graduate of the Northwest Kansas Technical College Respiratory Therapist Program.