Intensive care unit admissions and ventilation support in infants with bronchiolitis

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle




  • Stuart R. Dalziel
  • Andrew Davidson
  • Susan Donath
  • Kim Jachno
  • Mike South
  • Amanda Fry
  • Franz E. Babl

Research units


Objectives: To describe the rate of intensive care unit (ICU) admission, type of ventilation support provided and risk factors for ICU admission in infants with bronchiolitis. Design: Retrospective review of hospital records and Australia and New Zealand Paediatric Intensive Care (ANZPIC) registry data for infants 2–12 months old admitted with bronchiolitis. Setting: Seven Australian and New Zealand hospitals. These infants were prospectively identified through the comparative rehydration in bronchiolitis (CRIB) study between 2009 and 2011. Results: Of 3884 infants identified, 3589 charts were available for analysis. Of 204 (5.7%) infants with bronchiolitis admitted to ICU, 162 (79.4%) received ventilation support. Of those 133 (82.1%) received non-invasive ventilation (high flow nasal cannula [HFNC] or continuous positive airway pressure [CPAP]) 7 (4.3%) received invasive ventilation alone and 21 (13.6%) received a combination of ventilation modes. Infants with comorbidities such as chronic lung disease (OR 1.6 [95% CI 1.0–2.6]), congenital heart disease (OR 2.3 [1.5–3.5]), neurological disease (OR 2.2 [1.2–4.1]) or prematurity (OR 1.5 [1.0–2.1]), and infants 2–6 months of age (OR 1.5 [1.1–2.0]) were more likely to be admitted to ICU. Respiratory syncitial virus positivity did not increase the likelihood of being admitted to ICU (OR 1.1 [95% CI 0.8–1.4]). HFNC use changed from 13/53 (24.5% [95% CI 13.7–38.3]) patient episodes in 2009 to 39/91 (42.9% [95% CI 32.5–53.7]) patient episodes in 2011. Conclusion: Admission to ICU is an uncommon occurrence in infants admitted with bronchiolitis, but more common in infants with comorbidities and prematurity. The majority are managed with non-invasive ventilation, with increasing use of HFNC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-428
Number of pages8
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017

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