Author Affiliations: Seattle Children's Hospital and Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington.
Bronchiolitis is one of the most common causes of hospitalization for children during the first year of life.1 I often hear the statement, usually said in jest by hospital administrators, that if it were not for bronchiolitis, we would not need about 25% of the beds in our children's hospitals during the winter months.
In this issue of Archives, there is yet another article on the treatment of acute bronchiolitis, this time using helium-oxygen mixtures.2 It is a good article, with strong methods and positive results, and we are proud to publish it. However, the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine has published many such articles on the treatment of bronchiolitis and respiratory syncytial virus infections (eg, use of inhaled nitric oxide,3 3% hypertonic saline with epinephrine,4 and epinephrine vs albuterol5) and reviews on the diagnosis6 and treatment7 of this disorder. Usually when there are so many different treatments suggested for a disorder, none is entirely efficacious, which accounts for the frequent hospitalizations and sometimes long lengths of hospital stay for children with these infections. This is certainly the case for respiratory syncytial virus infections and bronchiolitis.
Rivara FP. Searching for Effective Treatment. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2011;165(12):1137–1138. doi:10.1001/archpediatrics.2011.194