Pediatric Respiratory Therapy

Respiratory virus in children may require respiratory therapy

Respiratory syncytial virus, RSV, which causes cold-like symptoms in older children, can be more severe in younger children, especially babies. RSV can lead to pneumonia and severe breathing problems. Premature babies and those with other health problems are at the highest risk. Symptoms include:

  • Stuffy nose
  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Trouble breathing
  • Decreased interest in surroundings
  • Listlessness
  • Irritability
  • Poor Appetite
  • Apnea

Children with severe disease may require oxygen therapy and sometimes mechanical ventilation along with ribavirin aerosol. Others may require a combination of immune globulin intravenous with a neutralizing RSV antibody and ribavirin, especially for children with compromised immune systems.

Respiratory failure is a condition that occurs when a child’s lungs cannot remove all of the carbon dioxide the body produces, resulting in body fluids that become too acidic. Symptoms may include:

  • Confusion
  • Easy fatigue
  • Lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sleepiness

The pediatrician will:

  • Diagnose with a chest X-ray or CT scan, pulmonary function tests or arterial blood gas test
  • Treat underlying lung disease with bronchodilator drugs to reverse the airway obstruction and may use non-invasive positive-pressure ventilation or mechanical ventilation or oxygen if the blood oxygen level is low.

To schedule an appointment with a specialist at Main Line Health, call 1.866.CALL.MLH (1.866.225.5654) or use our secure online appointment request form.