Is out-patient based treatment of bronchiectasis exacerbations in children comparable to inpatient based treatment?

Claudia O'Rourke, Sandra Schilling, Rebecca Martin, Patrick Joyce, Anne Bernadette Chang, Nitin Kapur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Objective: Children with bronchiectasis have recurrent exacerbations and may require hospitalization. “Hospital in the home (HITH)” is used as an alternative to hospitalization for children with cystic fibrosis (CF) but to date, there is no published data on children without CF. We describe our experience of HITH (intravenous [IV] antibiotics and at least once-daily physiotherapy-treated airway clearance therapy) in a cohort of children with bronchiectasis, comparing outcomes between hospital and HITH-based pathways. 

Methods: Medical records were retrospectively reviewed in children with bronchiectasis who were hospitalized in our center from July 2016 to July 2018. We compared treatment duration, symptom resolution, adverse events, oral antibiotic prescription on discharge and “time-to-next hospitalization” between children managed with the two treatment pathways. 

Results: Exacerbations in 63 children (median age = 6 years [range: 1-17]; females = 33, indigenous = 8) with bronchiectasis treated with IV antibiotic therapy were analyzed (HITH n = 45, 71.5%). Duration of treatment and symptom resolution was similar between groups (hospital: median = 14 days [interquartile range {IQR}: 14-14] and 12/18 [66.6%], respectively vs HITH: 14 [14-15.5] and 31/45 [69%]; P =.53 and.85, respectively). There was no significant difference in adverse events (16.6% vs 9%), prescription of oral antibiotics on discharge (44% vs 24%), or “time-to-next hospitalization” (median 42 [IQR: 24-100] vs 67 [IQR: 32-95] weeks) between hospital and HITH groups, respectively. 

Conclusions: In children with bronchiectasis treated for a severe exacerbation, receiving treatment in the home setting with HITH does not compromise short-term clinical outcomes compared to hospital only treatment. Prospective studies are required to provide more robust evidence in this under-researched area.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994-999
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number4
Early online date18 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


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