Respiratory Distress in a Fussy Infant Current on Vaccinations

Jesse A. Borke, MD


March 20, 2023

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A 10-month-old previously healthy male infant is brought to the emergency department (ED). His parents report that he has a cough and difficulty breathing. Upon arrival, the child appears to be ill and in significant respiratory distress. He and his parents are taken immediately to a resuscitation room, and the resident physician and attending physician are called to the bedside by the ED staff.

The parents report that their child has been coughing for a few days without significant sputum production. He has also seemed slightly more fussy than usual and has had a poor appetite and mild nasal congestion over the past few days.

His parents have not noticed anything else out of the ordinary. They do not report any vomiting or diarrhea, bleeding, trauma, symptoms in other family members, rash, pallor, jaundice, or syncope. Although his appetite is poor, he was tolerating feedings up until today. The parents do not report any known sick contacts or travel. They note that the child has had close contact with several members of the extended family over the past few weeks, including other children, but no significant exposure to the general public.

The child has no known allergies. He was born full-term by normal spontaneous vaginal delivery at 38+ weeks and is up to date on his vaccinations. Both parents are former smokers but have not smoked since he was born.


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