This guideline covers diagnosing and managing bronchiolitis in babies and children. It aims to help healthcare professionals diagnose bronchiolitis and identify if babies and children should be cared for at home or in hospital. It describes treatments and interventions that can be used to help with the symptoms of bronchiolitis.
In August 2021, we reviewed the evidence and updated the recommendations on oxygen saturation thresholds for referral to hospital, admission, management and timing of discharge. For more information, see update information.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- assessment and diagnosis
- when to refer to hospital
- when to admit
- when to discharge
- key safety information for looking after a baby or child at home
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers
- Parents or carers of children with bronchiolitis
Guideline development process
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals and practitioners are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or the people using their service. It is not mandatory to apply the recommendations, and the guideline does not override the responsibility to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual, in consultation with them and their families and carers or guardian.
All problems (adverse events) related to a medicine or medical device used for treatment or in a procedure should be reported to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency using the Yellow Card Scheme.
Local commissioners and providers of healthcare have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual professionals and people using services wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with complying with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.