Bengaluru’s hospitals see surge in cases of bronchiolitis- The New Indian Express

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Express News Service

BENGALURU: While we are all bracing for the third wave of COVID-19, doctors in Bengaluru have been witnessing a tremendous spike in cases of Bronchiolitis, with ICUs becoming full. Babies between two months and two years develop chest infection caused by viruses, breathe fast, experience a kind of viral pneumonia, for which there is no specific medication but may require a ventilator or ICU admission.

“This may be happening as kids of this age may not be wearing masks effectively, which not only help prevent COVID-19 but also other diseases. Our ICUs are flooded, with children requiring non-invasive ventilation or HFNC. Parents must look out for the warning signs that distinguish Bronchiolitis from regular cold and cough,” said Dr Supraja Chandrasekar – Pediatric Intensivist, Columbia Asia Referral Hospitals Yeshwanthpur.

For children aged one or less, if the breathing is more than 60 times per minute, for children less than five, if the breathing is more than 40 times per minute and in children more than five, if it is more than 30 times per minute , then it is time to get a physical appointment with the doctor.

If the fever crosses three days, the baby is not drinking fluids or vomits more than twice a day, these are also warning signs. She also advised against home nebulization.

“There is a significant increase in the number of ICU and ward admission of infants suffering from Bronchiolitis. The cause of this is viral infection, the most common being Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Influenza. It is usually seasonal and increases in the winter. One of the causes is that, owing to the pandemic, many of the children’s regular vaccinations may be getting postponed,” said Dr Srikanta JT, Consultant – Pediatric Interventional Pulmonology and Sleep Medicine, Aster CMI Hospital.

At Narayana Health, ICUs are full with patients reporting even in the middle of the night due to severe bronchiolitis.

“This year, the cases are far more than previous years. Families are coming in late requiring oxygen, HFNC and CPAP support. Children who are more at risk for bronchiolitis and severe disease are those born prematurely, those who needed a ventilator during the neonatal period , have chronic lung disease, heart diseases or underlying rare disease such as immunodeficiency,” said Dr Anil Kumar Sapare – Consultant, Pediatric Pulmonology, Narayana Health.

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