Fast Five Quiz: Pediatric Respiratory Syncytial Virus Management

Asif Noor, MD


March 03, 2022

Supportive care is the mainstay of therapy for RSV infection. If a child can take fluids by mouth and does not require oxygen or respiratory support, outpatient management with close follow-up is reasonable, especially in the absence of prematurity and underlying medical problems. For infants and children who require hospitalization for RSV infection, supportive therapy remains the mainstay of care and may include administration of supplemental oxygen (guided by respiratory rate, work of breathing, oxygen saturation, and arterial blood gas values) and fluid replacement, as necessary. Mechanical ventilation is required in cases of respiratory failure or apnea.

Although bronchodilators (specifically beta-agonists) have been used in infants with RSV, data indicate that they are ineffective and should not be used routinely to treat RSV infection. However, at least a subset of infants appears to benefit from bronchodilator therapy.

Intravenous (IV) fluids can be administered in infants who are hospitalized with RSV infection and are unable to tolerate oral feeds. With resumption of normal feeding as the child recovers, IV fluids can be discontinued.

Available clinical data do not support the use of corticosteroids in the treatment of typical RSV bronchiolitis.

Learn more about RSV infection management.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.