nebulizer for bronchiolitis

Jennifer - posted on 01/01/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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my 5 1/2 month old son was just diagnosed with bronchiolitis and sent home with a nebulizer to use four times a day for about 5-7 minutes at a time. we can tell that it is helping with the wheezing and congestion in his chest, but he hates it so much that he screams hysterically the entire 5-7 minutes. beside it breaking my heart, it dries out his throat and makes him hoarse. i can tell he has a sore throat now and he can't even cry because his voice is shot. i'm just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on making the treatments less painful/scary/irritating to him so that he won't scream the entire time. we tried it the other night as he was falling asleep and that seemed to help. any other suggestions?

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[deleted account]

I am a mother of 4 children, 2 with asthma and I am also a respiratory therapist. It is hard to see your baby cry during breathing treatments but the crying doesnt hurt him. Most babies dont like breathing treatments but I have found that if you hold the nebulizer a little further away from them they tend to tolerate it better (they dont hear the sound of the machine as much). They dont like the sound the machine makes and the mist scares them. As long as he is breathing in the mist then he is getting the medications. In time he will get used to it and it wont seem as painful. You may want to try doing it while he is sleeping, you dont have to wake him up for the treatments so if you are able to use your nebulizer with out waking him you should have it pretty easy. Try one treatment early in the morning before he gets up, two during the day (he will probably cry for those since he is awake), and the last one at night right when he falls asleep.

Lisa - posted on 01/01/2009

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My pediatrician gave me the Abuterol in a liquid form so I didn't have to deal with that. I think its a better Idea when they are that young. Ask your pediatrican about it.

Kristen - posted on 01/01/2009

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2 of my 3 girls have needed to have frequent nebulizer treatments and when they were little like that, the best time was right as they were falling asleep-but that doesn't always work out. I know it's hard and very heartbreaking to have to listen to that screaming and it feels like torture but the one good thing that I was told by our MD was that when they are crying that hard, they are really getting the full potency of the medication and that it is doing them more good than harm. Good luck-I know it's miserable but it does get better!

[deleted account]

HI, my daughter was in Mayo last spring for RSV/Bronchilitis, so we've had to deal with some of the same things. I'm not sure if you are using the mask? You can just using a "tube" if you have one, and just do "blow by". We've even done it while my daughter is eating, so she is distracted by eating.



When I was at Mayo in the Pediatric unit, they told me that the nebulizer albuterol treatment was mostly good for the wheezing, but does not help the baby get rid of the "gunk" in the lungs. I would recommend a cool mist humidifier run day and night, that will help with the dryness for sure, and remember coughing is good!! They have to cough out the crap in their lungs so they don't develop into anything worse like pneumonia.





Also, watch your little guy closely for breathing distress, which I'm sure they already told you about... but just in case... did they check his oxygen saturation level? If not, if he doesn't get better and you have to take him back, ask to get that checked. That is one of the main things they monitor on children with this type of illness.. also if teh babies skin is "splotchy" or lips blue, that is also a sign of not getting enough oxygen.

Heather - posted on 01/01/2009

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Not sure if your son is quite old enough for this yet, but we used to make it a game & put it on our faces then on a teddies face & then on my son's face. He got used to the nebs after a while & now asks for them when he feels he needs them (he's now 3 & 1/2). This works well with the spacer too.

Other than that I found the best way to hold them is to have him sitting sideways on your lap with one of his arms behind your back & hold his other arm with your left hand & still look at your child. They feel comforted at the same time as being restrained so they don't try & pull the mask off their face. Also I know it's hard but the worst thing you can do is get upset about your son's crying as he will sense this & get more worked up himself.

I hope this helps... good luck.

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Tracy - posted on 01/04/2009

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I've had a similar experience with my son. It kills you to watch, but when they cry the rx gets to the lungs. At least that's what our pedi told me. I've use tv during the treatment and a $ reward after. My son loved money even at that age. He's 7 now. Good Luck and Happy New Year.

Jennifer - posted on 01/02/2009

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His pulse ox was 95. I think that 100 is where they want it to be, so 95 wasn't really bad or anything, just lower than where it should be. Thank you all for the encouragement and suggestions!

Tinika - posted on 01/02/2009

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Honestly there isn't anything that you can do. Unfortunately as parents we have to suffer through the pain that our children experience. My 11 year old has been using a nebulizer since she was 5 months old and it still bothers her. All I can say is it will get better. He just doesn't like it but it is helping him...Hang in there mom.

Paula - posted on 01/01/2009

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My daughter also did this, her son was quite a bit older, 2-3, she just hold the tubing up to his nose--per pedicatricians instructions, puts a good movie on. Perhaps your son can be allowed to have his pacifier or thumb (if he uses these) while breathing through his nose. The sleeping might be the best choice.

Brandi - posted on 01/01/2009

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My son will be 4 months on the 4th and he just got diagnosed with bronchiolitis and put on the neb. . . I have noticed that if I use the mask he screams but if I put the elbow attachment on the medication holder and just hold it in front of his face and put on the TV he is fine! I hope this helps! Good luck

Julie - posted on 01/01/2009

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I have a daughter with asthma and one with reoccuring croup..we have owned 3 nebulizers over the last 8yrs. Kristen is right. although painful to hear, when they are crying, they are breathing in that medicine. He is hoarse from his crying, that will heal, he needs that moisture from the neb. to keep his bronchial tubes from swelling. Hang in there...he'll get used to it. Try giving him a toy or a bottle. :-)

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