Epidemiology of Bronchiolitis in Hospitalized Infants at Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates

Amar Al Shibli1, *, Muhammad B. Nouredin1, Abdulla Al Amri1, Durdana Iram1, Hassib Narchi2
1 Department of Pediatrics, Tawam Hospital, Al-Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
2 Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

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Creative Commons License
© 2021 Al Shibli et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Amar Al Shibli, Consultant Pediatrician, Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, PO Box: 15258, E-mail:



Bronchiolitis is the commonest lower respiratory tract infection, found worldwide in children < 2 years of age. Over sixty percent of cases are caused by Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). The disease is known to have significant morbidity, mortality and health care costs. Its seasonal variability, manifestations and complications vary between countries. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of infants hospitalized with bronchiolitis in Al Ain City, United Arab Emirates.


Retrospective observational chart review was made of an unselected cohort of infants ≤ 2 years admitted to the pediatric department of Tawam hospital over a 3-year period and discharged with the diagnosis of bronchiolitis. Epidemiological data and risk factors were analyzed.


RSV was the commonest pathogen (51%). Hospitalizations occurred year-round but increased significantly in December and January. The patients’ median age was 5.8 months with a male predominance (male:female ratio of 1.5:1.0). The mean age at admission was 6.6 months and presentation occurred, on average, 2.9 days after the onset of the symptoms. The majority (94%) had respiratory distress on presentation. Chest x-ray was performed in 80% of the patients. Most children received bronchodilator therapy and oxygen therapy was administered to 42%. The mean duration of hospital stay was 3 days.


Bronchiolitis remains a common reason for hospital admission and carries significant morbidity. RSV is the primarily responsible virus for hospital admissions and morbidity.

A better understanding of the burden of bronchiolitis in our setting would enable better planning and use of hospital resources to minimize its short and long-term sequelae.

Keywords: Bronchiolitis, Respiratory syncytial virus, Hyponatremia, Infants, Hospitalization, Prematurity, Viral diseases .