Context: Bronchiolitis is the most common lower respiratory tract infection in infancy. A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report confirmed that hospitalization rates for bronchiolitis have increased 2.4-fold from 1980 to 1996. Controversies exist about optimal treatment plans. Milliman and Robertson recommend ambulatory care management; in case of hospitalization, the recommended length of stay is 1 day. Objectives: To relate actual practice variation for infants admitted with uncomplicated bronchiolitis to Milliman and Robertson's recommendations. Design: Prospective observational study. Setting: General care wards of 8 pediatric hospitals of the Child Health Accountability Initiative during the winter of 1998-1999. Patients: First-time admissions for uncomplicated bronchiolitis in patients not previously diagnosed as having asthma and who were younger than 1 year. Main Outcome Measures: Respiratory rate, monitored interventions, attainment of discharge criteria goals, and length of stay. Results: Eight hundred forty-six patients were included in the final analysis: 85.7% were younger than 6 months, 48.5% were nonwhite, and 64.1% were Medicaid recipients or self-pay. On admission to the hospital, 18.3% of the infants had respiratory rates higher than higher than 80 breaths per minute, 53.8% received supplemental oxygen therapy, and 52.6% received intravenous fluids. These proportions decreased to 1.9%, 33.8%, and 20.3%, respectively, 1 day after admission, and to 0.7%, 20.1%, and 8.6%, respectively, 2 days after admission. The average length of stay was 2.8 days (SD, 2.3 days). Conclusions: Milliman and Robertson's recommendations do not correspond to practice patterns observed at the hospitals participating in this study; no hospital met the Milliman and Robertson recommended 1-day goal length of stay. Administration of monitored intervention persisted past the second day of hospitalization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health