To evaluate the effects of prevention of aspiration, with the use of thickened feeds, during RSV bronchiolitis in previously healthy infants.
Previously healthy infants with RSV bronchiolitis, who were hospitalized, were divided into two categories: those given regular feeds (Control group, n=30) and those who received feeds thickened with rice cereal as a proven strategy for prevention of aspiration(Study group, n=44). All received similar conservative management with oxygen, IV fluids and bronchodilators. Control and Study groups were matched for age, sex, duration of illness, acidosis, oxygen saturation and respiratory rate. All infants underwent followup every two weeks after discharge from the hospital.
The duration of hospital stay was longer (p<0.05)in the Control group(4.9 days) as compared to the Study group(3.2 days). The percentage of infants requiring mechanical ventilation was higher (p<0.05) in Control(13%) versus Study group(2%). At one year followup 27% of Study and 43% of Control patints were being treated for recurrent wheezing (p<0.05).
Use of thickened feeds during RSV bronchiolitis, with a view to prevent aspiration, is associated with shorter hospital stay, reduced need for mechanical ventilation and lower incidence of reactive airway disease.
The use of thickened feeds during RSV bronchiolitis is a simple intervention to prevent the subsequent short and long-term morbidity.
Dean Edell, None.