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Bronchiectasis in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.

What is bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a condition that causes mucus to collect in your child's airway. Chronic respiratory infections or inflammation cause the bronchi to become thick. Bronchi are larger airways that help carry air in and out of your child's lungs. The lungs make mucus to trap and remove germs and irritants that your child breathes. Bronchiectasis prevents your child's lungs from clearing the mucus. This leads to more infections and inflammation, and scarring in the lungs.

The Lungs

What increases my child's risk for bronchiectasis?

Your child may have bronchiectasis with or without cystic fibrosis. Any of the following may increase his or her risk:

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis?

Periods of active signs and symptoms are called exacerbations.

How is bronchiectasis diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will listen to his or her lungs and heart. He or she will ask about your child's other health conditions and any medicines he or she takes. Tell the provider about vaccines your child received, and if he or she missed any doses. Your child may also need any of the following tests:

How is bronchiectasis treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I help manage my child's bronchiectasis?

What can I do to prevent the spread of germs?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.