Management and Prevention Strategies for Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Bronchiolitis in Infants and Young Children: A Review of Evidence-Based Practice Interventions

Allison C. Cooper; Nancy Cantey Banasiak; Patricia Jackson Allen


Pediatr Nurs. 2003;29(6) 

In This Article


RSV Bronchiolitis is a common pediatric illness, affecting almost 100% of children < 2 years of age. Based on the review of studies, evidence suggests the mainstay of treatment is supportive and symptomatic management. According to AHRQ, at present, "evidence is insufficient to recommend any of the treatments studied over good supportive care of affected infants and children" (2003, pg. 5). Prevention of severe RSV infection in young children with RSV-IG or Synagis has proven successful in clinical outcomes. However, their widespread usage is prohibitive due to the expensive cost of each monthly dose. Thus, only high-risk infants receive the benefits of prophylactic treatment.

Development of a RSV vaccine has been difficult; previously developed vaccines, which used inactivated whole virus, triggered disease in infants. Until recently it was not known how these viruses could evade or even alter immune responses. With enhanced understanding of how the virus affects the immune system, improvements can be made in the development of long-term preventative vaccines. The ultimate treatment goal of reducing disease severity and/or preventing infection and decreasing the length of hospitalization will serve to lessen morbidity and mortality rates, as well as hospitalization costs, and ultimately improve the quality of life in young children.

The Primary Care Approaches section focuses on physical and developmental assessment and other topics specific to children and their families. If you are interested in author guidelines and/or assistance, contact Patricia L. Jackson Allen at


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.
Post as: