The Pediatric Respiratory Clinic – located inside our dedicated Pediatric ER - provides suctioning for children up to 36 months old with bronchiolitis. The clinic is open December through April, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The clinic is staffed by pediatric nurses and respiratory therapists. A physician referral is for 10 days of visits to the clinic. An insurance co-pay or co-insurance will be charged at each visit.

What happens during a visit?

  • A pediatric nurse will briefly assess your baby, complete your registration and notify the clinic staff that you are waiting.
  • A pediatric nurse will meet you in the waiting room, and escort you to an exam room.
  • Your baby will be assessed and the baby’s nose will be cleared of mucus using suction and saline. Then your baby will be reassessed.
  • If the assessment indicates your baby is tolerating the symptoms well, the pediatric nurse will provide education and return visit instructions. If the assessment indicates that your baby may not be handling this illness well, the pediatric nurse may call a respiratory therapist. For children that appear to be very ill, the nurse or respiratory therapist will ask an emergency doctor to evaluate your baby, and determine if additional treatment is needed.
  • If an emergency doctor evaluates your baby, you will be charged for an emergency room visit as well as for the visit to the clinic.

What is Bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is an infection of the lower airways that is usually caused by a virus. The infection causes excess mucus and swelling of the airways. The nasal mucus can make it hard for your baby to breathe, sleep and eat.

What are the symptoms?

Initial symptoms are similar to the common cold, and can include a stuffy or runny nose, mild cough, and low fever. Breathing can become difficult for children as the mucus production increases and becomes thick.

Very young babies can have difficulty clearing this mucus on their own. Some children require hospitalization.

Symptoms generally begin to clear after 7 to 10 days. The cough can last for several weeks, while the airways heal. Sleeping and eating routines may take several days to return to normal.

How did my baby get bronchiolitis?

Viruses that cause bronchiolitis are spread easily when someone who is sick coughs, sneezes, or talks. These viruses can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

Careful handwashing is the best protection against infection. Babies who are in daycare and babies exposed to cigarette smoke may be more likely to get the infection.

What can I do to help my baby at home?

Make sure your baby gets plenty of fluids. Give the fluids in smaller amounts on a more frequent feeding schedule.

Using a cool mist humidifier to moisten the air will help loosen the mucus. Clean the humidifier daily to help prevent mold growth. Use nasal saline drops and a nasal aspirator suction device to help clear your baby’s nose of mucus. The baby will feed better if the nose is clear. After each use, be sure to clean the suction device carefully with soap and hot water to eliminate germs.

When should I call the doctor?

Call your doctor if your baby has any of the following:

  • Seems sleepier than usual
  • Is pale
  • Has less than 3 wet diapers in 24 hours
  • Is working hard to breath or breathing fast
  • Has a high fever — 100.4° if your baby is less than 2 months old or 102.2° if your baby is over 2 months old