Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wheezing 1 year old

In December, a 1 year old baby girl is brought into the emergency room. The mother states the baby has been wheezing for 1 day intermittently. The baby is crying and when she pauses to take a breath you can hear wheezing bilaterally. Her temperature is 101.9 degrees Fahrenheit. What can cause wheezing in this 1 year old?
A) Foreign Object
B) Asthma
C) Respiratory Synctial Virus
D) Pneumonia
What is the standard for diagnosis?
A) Chest X-ray
B) Elisa of blood
C) Elisa of nasal washings
D) Culture of nasopharyngeal secretions
What is the treatment?
A) Humidification, hydration, and ventilatory support
B) Ribavirin
C) Corticosteroids
D) Bronchodilators
E) Palivizumab

Answer: Although asthma and a foreign object can cause wheezing, respiratory synctial virus must also be considered for wheezing in patients less than 2 years old. RSV occurs during the winter and can be accompanied by a fever. The standard for diagnosis is culture of nasopharyngeal secretions. Initial treatment is humidification, hydration, and ventilatory support. The other methods listed are advanced treatments.

1. Brochert, Adam. Crush Step 2. 2nd. Philadelphia: Hanley & Belfus, 2003.
2. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aid=2549353
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