In France, 2000 to 4000 infants are admitted each year in intensive care units for bronchiolitis, leading to a temporary increase of the activity. Anticipating this epidemic would greatly improve health care organisation in those units. Following a clinical observation, this study aimed to highlight a delay in the epidemic in the East of France compared to the West and a similarity in the severity of each epidemic. Retrospectively were included all the infants with a clinical and severe bronchiolitis hospitalised in intensive care units in the Brest, Kremlin-Bicêtre (KB) and Strasbourg university hospitals, one year in two from 2006 to 2013, between July, 1st and and June, 30th. 434 infants were included: 43 in Brest, 291 in KB and 100 in Strasbourg. Populations were comparable in terms of birth’s weight, term, history, sex-ratio, age, RSV rate, complication rate and death. Ventilation was longer in Strasbourg. The severity of epidemics was comparable during each period with a an admission ratio compared to KB of 15%* in Brest and 34%* in Strasbourg (*p < 0,05).
Epidemic occurred with a delay of 2 to 5 weeks in Strasbourg, and 2 to 7 weeks in Brest. The severe cases of bronchiolitis appear several weeks earlier in KB than in Strasbourg and Brest, with a comparable severity every year in these three regions. The observation of the situation in KB allows for anticipating the severity and date of the epidemic in Brest and Strasbourg.