We performed a prospective randomised controlled pilot study comparing home oxygen therapy with traditional in-patient hospitalisation for children with acute bronchiolitis. Children aged 3-24 months with acute bronchiolitis, still requiring oxygen supplementation 24 hours after admission to hospital, were randomised to receive oxygen supplementation at home with support from “Hospital in The Home” (HiTH) or continue oxygen supplementation in hospital (Hospital). 44 children (26 male, mean age 9.2 months) were recruited (HiTH n=22) between 1st August - 30th November 2007. Only one child from each group was readmitted to hospital and there were no serious complications. Children in the HiTH group spent almost two days less in a hospital bed than those managed as traditional in-patients: HiTH 55.2 hours (IQR 40.3-88.9) versus Hospital 96.9 hours (IQR 71.2-147.2), p = 0.001. Home oxygen therapy appears to be a feasible alternative to traditional hospital oxygen therapy in selected children with acute bronchiolitis.
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