Helpful Resources

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Helpful Resources

This video has been developed by the Perth Children’s Hospital so there may be some differences in procedure if your child is attending a different clinic. We hope the video can provide you with some preparation for your child’s bronchoscopy. Often referred to as a BAL (bronchoalveolar lavage) this technique is used to help the medical team understand more closely what might be happening in your child’s airways and treat anything early if needed. When your child is too little to cough independently and produce secretions (sputum) from their lungs the BAL allows specimens to be collected and check if there are signs of inflammation and/or infection.

For families attending clinics in Western Australia these are valuable site-specific resources:

Young child coughing during play

  • You can often hear sputum when children are laughing
  • Tickling can be a good way of getting a child to laugh and move secretions around
  • If you child is old enough ending with a big cough is great

Toddler who is unwell with a chest infection

  • Some respiratory illnesses make children cough very frequently
  • Sometimes the cough is wet and some sputum is coughed up and swallowed
  • A lot of the time, the cough is dry and can sound quite distressing
  • Please let your CF team or GP know if you are concerned, especially if your child looks to be working hard with their breathing

Baby unwell with increase in sputum

  • In babies who are unwell with a respiratory illness, sometimes you can hear sputum in their airways
  • You might need to get your ear nice and close to be able to hear these sounds
  • You can even place your hand on their chest and ‘feel’ for sputum moving in there
  • Please let your CF team or GP know if you are hearing this and you are concerned

Child with wet cough

  • When this child coughs, it sounds like there is some sputum there which is a bit sticky and difficult to clear
  • Techniques you’ve learned like airway clearance or using certain nebulised medications will be helpful
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