Asthmatic bronchitis is common in infants (aged 0-3), who may contract a cough and breathing difficulties in connection with a cold.
Colds are due to a virus infection that affects the mucous membranes in the respiratory tracts. This leads to a swelling of the membrane and increased mucous production. The condition is similar to asthma and is commonly treated with asthma medicine, but often with little effect. In such a situation, saltwater inhalation can be tried. For children with pronounced breathing difficulties, oxygen treatment may be required.
Susceptibility to asthmatic bronchitis tends to decline in most children as their respiratory tracts enlarge around the age of 3-4. The symptoms can mean the onset of asthma in some children. Atopic eczema, allergies in children or their parents, along with periods of breathing problems without a cold all increase the risk of asthma.
We try to find those children who will benefit from treatment with asthma.
Treatment with Airomir/Ventoline is given via a ‘Spacer’ to children who are not severely affected by breathing problems. If the treatment is effective, it will subsequently be given regularly, but the frequency will depend on the child’s breathing.
If the child’s condition is not improved by inhaler treatment, saltwater inhalation can be tried. If the child has severe breathing problems, inhaler treatment and oxygen will be used.
Side effects from Ventoline/Airomir are:
- High pulse.
- Headache, shivering (inner unrest), "hectic".
- The side effects are temporary and non-hazardous.
If Ventoline/Airomir is effective, your child should be given Ventoline/Airomir using a Spacer in the event of a new attack
How to assemble and use a Spacer:
- Shake the inhaler well before each use, and remove the cap. Assemble the Spacer and attach to the inhaler.
- Fit the mask onto the mouthpiece, and hold firmly over the mouth and nose. Older children (aged 4-6) can use the Spacer without a mask.
- Press one puff of the medicine into the Spacer, and have your child to take 10 breaths into the spacer
- The valve in the chamber will move as the child breathes.
- The staff can demonstrate how to hold your child when using the spacer
Check box for each puff of medicine:
(A Ventoline/Airomir inhaler contains around 200 puffs)
If your child has been given Ventoline or Airomir to take home when discharged, you can give 2-4 puffs of the inhaler if your child is wheezing or having breathing problems, and then evaluate the effect. If it is effective, the treatment can be repeated at 2-3 hour intervals, if breathing problems persist. If the child is badly affected and their breathing is very laboured, 4 puffs every 20 minutes can be given, i.e. 12 puffs within one hour.
If your child still has breathing problems, contact your doctor or call 1813.
If you have to go to the hospital again, bring your child’s medicine, including the Spacer.
Useful observations to make before contacting the doctor
- How many breaths per minute is your child taking?
- What is your child’s temperature?
- Does the skin between your child’s ribs expand and contract during breaths?
- Is your child receiving asthma medicine (what and how much?)
Danger signals = Rapid worsening (over a few hours), and your child cannot get enough air to eat or speak. Your child becomes listless or confused, while still experiencing severe breathing problems.
Upon discharge, the doctor will prescribe how Ventoline/Airomir is to scaled down:
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