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November 22, 2011

MedImmune Blog Tour: RSV and Preemie Awareness

I was very happy to find out I was chosen to be a part of this blog tour because I know a lot about RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and I've had the [sad and scary] experience of going though it with my 3 year old daughter.

So sick and tired.
 The photo to the right shows my daughter Sabrina [3 years] in the hospital while she was diagnosed with RSV, bronchitis, and pneumonia. It hurts me so much to look at these photos because this was on of the hardest times in my life. Very scary too. I look at this photo and it brings tears to my eyes. She was really sick and as you can see, she was on a oxygen machine. 

They did some took some blood and even gave her an x-ray. I was there with her while it was being done and when I seen the x-ray, I knew something wasn't right. It was the pneumonia. She ended up being admitted and she stayed in the hospital for 3 days. I know she had more problems then just RSV, but RSV played a big part in her being really sick. The photo to the left shows her feeling better. By the way, her bed was like a huge crib, as you may be able to see.

Several times a day the nurses had to come in and give her breathing treatments. When we got discharged, we were given a machine to give her the same breathing treatments. Every time she gets a cold, or starts showing symptoms, we have to give her breathing treatments. This is caused by the RSV.

Feeling a bit better, almost ready to go home.

RSV is highly contagious and almost every child is infected with RSV by the age of 2. It can be spread by someone sneezing, coughing, and it can live on surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops, and even clothing. 

RSV should be taken seriously.

  • Bluish skin color due to a lack of oxygen (cyanosis)

  • Breathing difficulty or labored breathing
  • Cough
  • Croupy cough (often described as a "seal bark" cough)
  • Fever
  • Nasal flaring
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stuffy nose
  • Wheezing

  •  RSV is common in children and adults, but can cause serious problems in newborns and infants; especially preemies. If you have a preemie, they should be able to get the RSV shot. 

    • Bronchiolitis

  • Croup
  • Ear infections
  • Lung failure
  • Pneumonia

  • If not taken care of, RSV can cause death in infants, but this is rare.

    The following simple steps can help protect your baby from getting sick:
  • Insist that others wash their hands with warm water and soap before touching your baby.
  • Have others avoid contact with the baby if they have a cold or fever. If necessary, have them wear a mask.
  • Be aware that kissing the baby can spread RSV infection.
  • Try to keep young children away from your baby. RSV is very common among young children and easily spreads from child to child.
  • Do not smoke inside your house, car, or anywhere near your baby. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of RSV illness.


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