There are no effective interventions to prevent hospital admissions in infants with bronchiolitis. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against routine bronchodilator use for bronchiolitis. The objective of this study was to characterize trends in and outcomes associated with the use of bronchodilators for bronchiolitis.
This is a multicenter retrospective study of infants <12 months of age with bronchiolitis from 49 children's hospitals from 2010 to 2018. The primary outcomes were rates of hospital admissions, ICU admissions, emergency department (ED) return visits after initial ED discharge, noninvasive ventilation, and invasive ventilation. Multivariable logistic regression was used to evaluate the rates of outcomes among hospitals with high and low early use of bronchodilators (on day of presentation).
A total of 446 696 ED visits of infants with bronchiolitis were included. Bronchodilator use, hospital admissions, and ED return visits decreased between 2010 and 2018 (all < .001). ICU admissions and invasive and noninvasive ventilation increased over the study period (all .05).
In a large study of infants at children’s hospitals, bronchodilator therapy decreased significantly from 2010 to 2018. Hospital-level early bronchodilator use was not associated with a reduction in any outcomes. This study supports the current American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation to limit routine use of bronchodilators in infants with bronchiolitis.

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