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Advice on infant lung disease

Tuesday November 18th, 2014

Babies with a common lung infection should not be treated with antibiotics, according to draft guidelines published today.

The guidance aims to set out when infants with bronchiolitis should be referred for specialist care.

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, up to 3% of infected infants will need hospital care.

The guidance says rapid breathing, dehydration and difficulty in breastfeeding are among indicators that suggest a GP should seek specialist help.

It also sets out when emergency hospital admission should be sought.

The guidance says the disease is a viral infection and can usually be managed at home. But it warns it can be confused with a common cold.

As well as antibiotics, bronchodilators and corticosteroids are rejected in the guidance.

Professor Mark Baker, of NICE, said: “With this new draft guideline our aim is to assist clinicians, alongside parents and carers, in making decisions about how to thoroughly assess babies and young children with bronchiolitis and what the most appropriate treatments are to use, to ensure they are well looked after.”

He added: "In the majority of cases, symptoms are mild and will only last a few days, but in some cases the disease can lead to serious illness. It is very important that children with bronchiolitis are correctly diagnosed and their symptoms closely monitored.

"So parents and carers, as well as doctors, nurses and health visitors need to know when to seek help from specialist care.”

Tags: Child Health | NHS | Pharmaceuticals | Respiratory | UK News

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