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© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Background: Viral bronchiolitis is the leading cause of hospitalisation in infants less than a year old. The United Kingdom (UK) National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a guideline for the management of viral bronchiolitis in June 2015. Objectives: This study aimed to prospectively survey the management of viral bronchiolitis in hospital Trusts in the UK to provide a baseline of practice prior to the publication of the 2015 NICE bronchiolitis guideline against which future practice can be assessed. Study design: An electronic, structured questionnaire was sent to hospital paediatricians in the UK prior to the publication of the NICE bronchiolitis guideline via the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health e-portfolio system to assess the quality of Trust's viral bronchiolitis management guidelines. Results: Paediatricians from 111 (65% of all) UK Trusts completed an electronic questionnaire. 91% of Trusts had a bronchiolitis guideline. Overall only 18% of Trusts would be fully compliant with the NICE guideline. Between 43–100% of Trusts would be compliant with different sections of the guideline. There was variation in hospital admission criteria with respect to the need for supplemental oxygen (oxygen saturations <88% to <95%). ‘Unnecessary’ medications (especially bronchodilators, nebulised hypertonic saline and antibiotics) and investigations (chest x-ray and blood gas) were regularly advised. 72% of Trusts advised respiratory virus testing in all hospitalised infants and 64% created bronchiolitis bays to cohort infants. Conclusions: There was wide variation in the management of infants with bronchiolitis in Trusts. Most bronchiolitic infants are not managed optimally in hospitals. Future guidelines should include advice on virus testing and isolation/cohorting.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Clinical Virology

Publication Date





29 - 33