New quality standards for children with bronchiectasis

A summary of a new statement published in the European Respiratory Journal

A new document has outlined standards that will provide the best level of care for children living with bronchiectasis.

Although bronchiectasis is considered a rare disease, it is now more common around the world than cystic fibrosis. There are quality standards for how to care for adults with bronchiectasis but these new standards are the first to address the care of children. The statement came ahead of the first World Bronchiectasis Day (1 July), which aims to raise awareness of the condition and help reach people who may be living with the condition without a diagnosis.

A group of experts, including healthcare professionals and patients, were involved in the production of the new standards. After discussions and global surveys to gather patient and professional views, the following 7 standards were agreed on:

  1. Children and young people suspected of bronchiectasis have this confirmed by a chest CT (computed tomography) scan.
  2. Children and young people with bronchiectasis are taught techniques that help to clear the airways by a lung health physiotherapist.
  3. Children and young people with bronchiectasis with a short-term flare up of symptoms (exacerbation) are prescribed at least 14 days of antibiotics.
  4. Children and young people with bronchiectasis who had more than 1 exacerbation that required hospital treatment or 3 or more exacerbations that did not involve the hospital in the previous 12 months are offered a trial of macrolide antibiotics for at least 6 months, with checks to see how well they work.
  5. Children and young people with bronchiectasis have an agreed range of diagnostic tests.
  6. Children and young people with bronchiectasis receive specialist care from a child lung health doctor.
  7. Children and young people with bronchiectasis are reviewed at least every 6 months by a team of experts from various areas of medicine.

These standards are a first step towards improving the overall quality of care for children and young people living with bronchiectasis. The authors hope that people living with bronchiectasis and their parents or carers can use the statement to advocate for better care for themselves/their children.

Further information

Read the original research paper:

International consensus statement on quality standards for managing children/young people with bronchiectasis from the ERS CRC Child-BEAR-Net:

Find out more about World Bronchiectasis Day:

Visit our Bronchiectasis information hub: