08.02 Acute Bronchitis

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Bronchitis Pathophysiology (Image)
Hypoxia – Signs and Symptoms (in Pediatrics) (Mnemonic)
Chronic Bronchitis Assessment (Picmonic)
Chronic Bronchitis Interventions (Picmonic)

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Hey guys, in this lesson we are going to talk about Acute Bronchitis in pediatric patients.
Acute bronchitis is when you have inflammation in the large airways and by large airways I just mean the trachea and the bronchi. The cause is usually viral and it’s pretty much self-limiting, with symptoms lasting 2-3 weeks.

The most obvious symptom and probably the most irritating symptom for patients is the cough. It’s a hacking, often painful cough that gets worse at night. It usually starts out as non-productive then becomes productive as the illness progresses.

These patients may also have a wheeze, shortness of breath and a fever.

For the most part these symptoms tend to be on the milder side and can be treated in the outpatient setting, so we aren’t usually looking for signs of rapid respiratory decline in these kids.

Management is supportive, remember it’s usually viral so antibiotics are avoided, so ultimately, we are treating the fever and helping them cope with the potentially painful and very irritating cough. Remember the cough is worse at night so these 2-3 weeks can be really draining for the kids and the families. Cough suppressants can be used to help with this, but over the counter cold meds shouldn’t be used in kids who are >2 years! This is because so many of these OTC drugs are combination drugs and we have to be careful about how the individual meds might affect younger kids.

One really important aspect of treatment is to make sure it stays an outpatient, simple viral infection and the best way to do this is to avoid complications like dehydration by making sure that kids are getting enough fluids. So we need educate parents on this and really encourage fluids.

For this kind of cough that lingers for a while it’s also important to avoid irritants. So make sure these kids aren’t exposed to secondhand smoke.

Your priority nursing concepts for a pediatric patient with acute bronchitis are oxygenation and infection control.

Okay so let’s go over the key points for acute bronchitis! So it’s often called a chest cold and it’s usually viral and self-limiting, lasting 2-3 weeks. The major symptom is a cough, it’s a dry, hacking, painful cough that is worse at night.

Treatment is supportive- so it’s focused on managing symptoms like the fever and cough.

Make sure the patient avoids irritants! And encourage good hand hygiene because it’s viral and can spread easily!

That's it for our lesson on acute bronchitis in pediatric patients. Make sure you checkout all the resources attached to this lesson. Now, go out and be your best self today. Happy Nursing!
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