SAEM: Albuterol Trumps Epinephrine in Babies with Bronchiolitis

May 16, 2007

CHICAGO -- Infants with bronchiolitis are 42% more likely to be successfully discharged from the emergency department when they are treated with nebulized albuterol rather than epinephrine.

CHICAGO, May 16 -- Infants with bronchiolitis are 42% more likely to be successfully discharged from the emergency department when they are treated with nebulized albuterol rather than epinephrine.

So reported Paul F. Walsh, M.D., of the Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., and colleagues at a meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine here.

Because meta-analyses have suggested that children treated with epinephrine showed a trend toward reduced hospital admissions compared with those given abuterol, the authors conducted a randomized, double blind study comparing the use of nebulized albuterol with nebulized epinephrine in two emergency departments of teaching hospitals.

They confined their analysis to children from birth to 18 months of age who presented with bronchiolitis that wasn't severe enough to require immediate intubation but did require some treatment.

Criteria for hospital admission were age 70/minute on entry or 60/minute following treatment, O2 saturation