Wheeze in preschool children

21st December 2014 by NASGP

Wheeze in preschool children

A very common condition, affecting 25% of infants before the age of 18 months, and one which we will see a lot of over the forthcoming months.

This helpful BMJ Review summarises the evidence on the management of wheeze in this preschool population (BMJ 2914;348:g15). Importantly, this doesn’t cover bronchiolitis, another condition common at this time of year!

Classification of wheezing

The European Respiratory Task Force has proposed a new classification of preschool children with wheeze:

  • Episodic viral wheezers (EVW) – wheeze only with viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs).
  • Multi-trigger wheezers (MTW) – wheeze with URTIs, but also with other triggers, e.g. exercise, allergen exposure and smoke.

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Dr Ruth Snowball, GP, Birmingham

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