Acute bronchiolitis is a common viral chest infection that mainly affects infants under the age of one. It is most common in the autumn and winter. It causes small tubes in the lungs (bronchioles) to become narrowed by inflammation and mucus, leading to difficulty breathing and poor feeding. A small proportion of infants require treatment to help their breathing and feeding.

The clinical aims of this initiative are to:

  • reduce unwarranted clinical variation
  • reduce unnecessary investigations and ineffective treatments.

Snapshot of acute bronchiolitis in NSW public hospitals, 2017-18

67 public hospitals
134 emergency departments

treat infants with


Infants and Children – Acute Management of Bronchiolitis

This guideline provides evidence-based clinical direction in the acute management of bronchiolitis in infants.

View guideline

For clinicians and services

What to improve

A summary of the four clinical components of the initiative:

  1. diagnosis
  2. acute management
  3. optimising health
  4. working with families

How to improve

Explore options for different organisational models to tailor clinical services for your local requirements:

  • paediatric acute review service (non-admitted patient)
  • paediatric short stay service (admitted patient)
  • virtual health model

Additional resources

Contact the Paediatric Network

Email the team at or visit the ACI Paediatric Network.

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