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faced with the wave of hospitalizations, physiotherapists are ready to lend a hand

Yasmina Kattou, edited by Laura Laplaud

The lack of staff is lacking in hospitals in light of the bronchiolitis epidemic which continues to spread across the territory. Faced with this wave of hospitalizations, physical therapists remind us that they can lend a hand. But few parents walk across their door in case of bronchiolitis. Why ?

The situation in emergency, hospital and intensive care units in pediatric hospitals has reached a critical level. In an extremely worrying context of an epidemic outbreak of bronchiolitis, physiotherapists remember that they can lend a hand and support overburdened emergency services. But since a statement by the High Authority for Health (HAS) in 2019 not recommending respiratory physiotherapy for children, few parents consult for bronchiolitis.

In the absence of data, the health authorities no longer recommend respiratory physiotherapy for children

The benefit of respiratory physiotherapy in relieving the bronchi in children suffering from bronchiolitis has not been proven. It is therefore due to the lack of data to date that the health authorities no longer recommend the practice for children. But it is possible to consult a physiotherapist in case of bronchiolitis for follow-up of the child.

“We are quite capable of identifying signs of seriousness”

This would alleviate overcrowding in emergencies, says Pascale Matthieu, president of the Physiotherapists Association. “The physiotherapist examines the child, asks the parents to find out what their stool is like, has they vomited, and then we assess their degree of nasal congestion. We can blow their noses, teach parents how to blow their noses. … We are very capable to identify signs of seriousness, which will then require you to go to an emergency center or consult the general practitioner again”, she explains.

According to a study analyzing previous bronchiolitis epidemics in New Aquitaine, respiratory physiotherapy would reduce pediatric emergency visits by 13% at Bordeaux University Hospital.

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