Bronchiolitis, a wheezing much like asthma in adults, is responsible for many hospital admissions of infants. It is the commonest cause of hospital admission in this age group.
There are two drugs in general use to treat this condition, epinephrine and albuterol, and there is some controversy and passion involved in the choice of medication.
In a paper to be presented at the 2007 Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) Annual Meeting, a double-blind randomized clinical trial involving over 700 infants over a three year period showed a clear advantage for albuterol in successful discharges from the Emergency Department.
Although many smaller studies have shown either no difference or an advantage to epinephrine, this surprising result of a small but real advantage in using albuterol may force physicians to reassess their treatment choices.
Principal Investigaor, Paul Walsh, MD, originally preferred epinephrine prior to conducting this study. The other investigators were Kemedy McQuillan MD, John Caldwel Pharm Dl and Stephen J Rothenberg PhD.