Breathing difficulties in the young infant

See Breating difficulties in the new born for respiratory problems in the neonate.

Learning objectives

After completion of this session the participant should be able to:

YIs with breathing difficulties will present with fast breathing and difficulties with feeding. On examination there may be grunting, head bobbing, fever, cyanosis, intercostal, sternal and subcostal recession. On auscultation there may be crepitations.

The main differential diagnoses in this age group are

Supportive treatment


Oxygen therapy- escalate stepwise

Administer oxygen via nasal prongs or nasal catheter, start with 0.5 litres/minute and escalate quickly if O2 saturations remain <90%.

Specific treatment

Treat with IV antibiotics if pneumonia is suspected (fever, crepitation’s on examination) Doses

High dose cotrimoxazole and steroids if PJP is suspected.