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Safely Discharging Infants with Bronchiolitis from an Emergency Department: A Five Step Guide for Pediatricians

Published inPloS one, vol. 11, no. 9, e0163217
Publication date2016
Abstract

Recent publications have established the pulse oxygen saturation (SpO2) threshold of 90% for the hospitalization and discharge of infant patients with bronchiolitis. However, there is no clear recommendation regarding the Emergency Department (ED) observation period necessary before allowing safe home discharge for patients with SpO2 above 90%-92%. Our primary aims were to evaluate the risk factors associated with delayed desaturation in infants with SpO2 ≥ 92% on arrival at the ED as well as the ED observation period necessary before allowing safe home discharge. A secondary aim was to identify the risk factors for ED readmission. Of 581 episodes of bronchiolitis in patients < 1 year old admitted to the ED, only 47 (8%) had SpO2 < 92% on arrival there, although 106 (18%) exhibited a delayed desaturation (to < 92%) during ED observation. Female sex, age < 3 months old, ED readmission, more severe initial clinical presentation, and higher pCO2 level (> 6KPa) were risk factors for delayed desaturation with OR varying from 1.7 to 7.5. In patients < 3 months old, mean desaturation occured later than in older patients [6.0 hours (IQR 3.0-14.0) vs. 3.0 hours (IQR 2.0-6.0), P = 0.0018]. In 95% of patients with a delayed desaturation this decrease occurred within 25 hours for patients < 3 months old and within 11 hours for patients ≥ 3 months old. In patients < 3 months old with respiratory rates above the normal range for their age the desaturation occurred earlier than in patients < 3 months with normal respiratory rates [4.4 hours (IQR 3.0-11.7) vs. 14.6 hours (IQR 7.6-22.2), P = 0.037]. Based on the present study's results, we propose a five step guide for pediatricians on discharging children with bronchiolitis from the ED. By using the threshold of an 11 hour ED observation period for patients ≥ 3 months old and a 25 hour period for patients < 3 months old we are able to detect 95% of the patients with bronchiolitis who are at risk of delayed desaturation.

Citation (ISO format)
STOLLAR, Fabiola, GERVAIX, Alain, BARAZZONE, Constance. Safely Discharging Infants with Bronchiolitis from an Emergency Department: A Five Step Guide for Pediatricians. In: PloS one, 2016, vol. 11, n° 9, p. e0163217. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0163217
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Article (Published version)
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ISSN of the journal1932-6203
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