Paediatric respiratory

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He's ill again, doctor!

Respiratory conditions are the mainstay of paediatrics in hospital (around a third of patients). There are two reasons:

  1. Adults get all these other problems like STIs, heart disease, arthritis and cancer; children are young and their bodies fit; they haven't had time to expose themselves to radiation/prostitution, and haven't been alive long enough to wear out their hearts/bones.
    A blatant contravention of NICE guidelines.
  2. Immune systems need exposure to pathogens in order to become effective. In the first years of life, the lungs are a key area where the outside world and the inside of the body are in contact. Thus, you get a lot of respiratory infection; a healthy child under 5 can have upto 12 minor respiratory ailments a year without it being a cause for concern!

There's a lot of it about...

Respiratory infections are the main culprits for all these admissions, so check it out. The page is split into upper respiratory, respiratory airways and lung infections, so there's a fair amount to learn!

Take some Calpol, and go away.

Also ridiculously common is asthma. You will see a lot of patients with this, as well as bronchiolitis and viral wheeze. Be aware of babies with a barking cough - its probably croup. Finally, read about: