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Bronchiolitis is a respiratory illness that usually affects young children. This viral infection is usually caused by RSV (respiratory syncytial virus). This viral infection affects the lower respiratory tract. Tiny airways to the lungs (bronchioles) get inflamed and make breathing difficult. Since the bronchioles of an infant and young child are narrow, they tend to get blocked easily. Bronchiolitis is highly contagious and spreads through coughing, sneezing of the infected person.

Premature infants or those suffering from congenital heart defects are at increased risk for developing Bronchiolitis. Children growing in crowded environment or in day-care facilities are at higher risk for contracting Bronchiolitis. Formula-fed infants are at higher risk for developing bronchiolitis. Typical symptoms of bronchiolitis include runny nose and cough. There might be wheezing and rapid heartbeat. Children suffering from bronchiolitis may be irritable and have poor appetite. The infected child may have mild fever and breathing problems. In some cases, the baby may develop a bluish tinge on the lips or fingers.

Chest x-ray and blood test can help in diagnosing bronchiolitis. A nasopharyngeal swab can reveal presence of RSV or any other virus. While mild cases of bronchiolitis can be managed with home care, severe cases need hospitalization. Bronchodilator drugs can help alleviate breathing difficulties. Suction of the infant's mouth and nose provides relief from stuffiness and breathing problems.


In most cases, pneumonia is noticed after an upper respiratory illness. When there is infection in the lung tissue, pneumonia occurs. This disease can be caused by either virus, bacteria, fungi or parasites. Pneumonia caused by virus appears gradually and may not be as severe as when caused by bacteria. The streptococcus bacteria, known as pneumococcus, is the main cause of pneumonia. adenoviruses, rhinovirus, influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and para-influenza virus are among the viruses that can cause pneumonia. Weak and elderly people are more at risk for contracting pneumonia. Persons with weakened immune systems or have had their spleen removed are more susceptible for pneumonia.

The disease is contagious and spreads through touching used handkerchiefs and sharing utensils. Symptoms of pneumonia include fever, cough and chest pain. There is labored breathing and abdominal pain. Wheezing is noticed in cases of viral pneumonia. A patient suffering from pneumonia may develop bluish or grayish pallor on the lips and fingertips. A case of bacterial pneumonia can take about a fortnight to recover while viral pneumonia takes longer. Pneumonia can be mild or life threatening.

Pneumonia is detected during a physical examination. Chest Xray and CT scan can help confirm the presence of pneumonia and throw light on the extent and location of the infection. Blood tests and phlegm sample can detect presence of virus or bacteria. Bronchoscopy allows a doctor to examine the patient's breathing passages. Antibiotics such as penicillin, amoxicillin and clavulanic acid are prescribed to treat pneumonia. Macrolide antibiotics such as erythromycin, azithromycin and clarithromycin are prescribed to those suffering from pneumonia. Vaccines against Haemophilus influenzae and pertussis are part of the routine immunization schedule for children.

BMP blood test

BMP blood test or Basic Metabolic Panel blood test comprises a set of tests that throw light on the functioning of a person's kidneys, blood sugar, calcium, electrolyte and acid/base levels. BMP blood test comprises testing for:

Glucose: Metabolic disorders of carbohydrates, incidences of Pancreatitis, renal impairment in association with diabetes mellitus of adult and juvenile origins.

Calcium: Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, tetanus, bone disorders, chronic renal failure.

Sodium: Central nervous system disorders, dehydration, gastrointestinal fluid loss, skin complications, hyperaldosteronism, polydipsia, burns.

Potassium: Hyperparathyroidism, conditions associated with glomerulus and renal tubules, diabetic ketoacidosis and metabolic alkalosis.

CO2 (carbon dioxide, bicarbonate): Renal metabolic disorders, primary respiratory and metabolic alkalosis.

Chloride: Diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, burns, renal diseases.

BMP blood test aids in diagnosis of kidney failure, diabetic coma, hypertension, changes in heart rhythms and respiratory illness. Basic metabolic panel elucidates the blood biochemistry values in association with the underlying medical conditions. The patient is advised to fast 12 hours before the test. In some conditions a random analysis is also followed. Other tests that are used by physicians to check for renal failure are BUN blood test and test for creatinine. If there is elevated blood calcium level, it can be confirmed with an ionized calcium test. Electrolyte imbalance can occur due to many an illness.

Tags: #Bronchiolitis #Pneumonia #BMP blood test
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 4, 2022