Thursday, October 14, 2010

RSV Season...for the last time!

Yep, it's time. Hopefully the LAST time I have to blog about this. Time to once again remind everyone that although our children look absolutely normal, their prematurity still stands in the way of them being able to effectively fight a virus such as RSV or the flu. I have heard one too many horror stories of preemie moms cutting loose the reigns after their kids hit 2 & then WHAM! They get hit w/ RSV & land in the hospital.

I rather stay safe than sorry.

Honestly, last season wasn't too bad. Most people understood what our requirements were w/o a fight. They understoond that much better b/c of what we endured w/ Ian in January of 2009. It just goes to prove that no matter how careful you are, a virus can be easily transmitted from 1 healthy person & wreak havoc on a small child, especially one born 6 weeks early.

Here is last 2 years' post, revised for this year.

People don't seem to really understand what sick means when we tell them they can't come over if they are "sick". What we mean is if you have the sniffles or the remnants of a cough or even a tickle in your throat, DON'T COME OVER! I'm not trying to be rude but the dr specifically told us that you have to be symptom free to come visit. I'm sorry but we are listening to her over anyone else.

Why is this important? Because our babies are preemies. No, they aren't small anymore nor do they look ill. They actually look like any other 2.5 yr old toddler at this point BUT w/ Ian's case history, it is still important that we protect them. This is very important to know b/c there is a virus called RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) which to us or a full-term baby, would not do anything more than just give us a cough & a runny nose, much like the common cold. For our babies, it can mean DEATH.

Why? Our babies lungs look very different from that of a baby the same age that was born after 37 weeks gestation. Let me show you a picture of what our babies' lungs look like compared to that of a regular full-term baby. The 1st 3 pictures are that of our babies' lungs (not actual but you get the idea). The 4th picture is that of a regular baby. Scary to see how much less our babies have compared to them!

This is another good picture to look at. As you can see, they used trees to explain the difference between a normal infant's lungs (left) & a preemie's (right). WOW!

Finally, this is a photo of the airway when affected by RSV. On the left is a normal infant & on the right, a preemie. You can see how much LESS airway is open in the preemie's picture. SCARY!

Once RSV has been passed to one of our babies, hospital stay is an almost certainty. Actually, they would probably end up in the PICU (Pediatric ICU). There is NOTHING they can do to help our babies except to give them O2 via vent (intubated) to help them breathe. Again, something we don't want to experience ESPECIALLY after seeing Ian intubated w/o sedation in 2009. VERY SCARY!

How do we keep our babies healthy? By staying away from sick people! You may not even know you are carrying RSV & if you come over & infect our babies, you would feel very badly afterward. Sorry if I sound so harsh but I have had to explain over & over again why it is important not to come over.

RSV is contracted through physical contact or vapor droplets in the air. This is why if Todd or I get sick, we will have to wear a mask anytime we are around the babies b/c obviously we can't avoid caring for them. RSV can also live on surfaces for several hours so you better believe I will be Cloroxing all surfaces at least once a day!

A new implementation from last year will be carried on this year & that is that people coming from crowded places such as schools, will be required to change clothing. We need to take the extra precautions b/c of what happened to Ian. If you would like to read more about what we went through, the link is below.

Ian & Post-Infectious Cerebellitis

Mommies, if you have experienced RSV w/ your little one, I would love for you to leave a comment so others can be educated from a 1st hand experience. I do not want my babies in the hospital. They started their lives there & I would like to keep them out as long as possible!


apple said...

Very informative! Thanks!

Prather Family said...

Thanks for the info and the reminder. It is time to get strict in my household too.

Amy Starr said...

Hi Astrid. Max had RSV last year when he was about 6 months. He was, of course, full term, and 100% breastfed. He didn't have to go to the hospital, but he was sick for over a month. It was just a mild cold for the rest of us. So glad this is the last year you'll have to worry about it with your little ones. ~ Amy

The Williams said...

Just curious if any of you have had experience with RSV occurring more than once in an RSV season? My little girl was born premature and developed RSV at 18 days old. She was on a ventelator for 8 days and slowly recovered over the next month. That was in February of 2010.

She developed RSV again the beginning on October 2010 which was the beginning of this RSV season, I just rushed her to the emergency room yesterday where she was again diagnosed with RSV. I thought once a baby had RSV, it couldn't get that strain again? The doctor wasn't any help, he thought she hadn't ever gotten rid of it the first time even though she was symptom free for 3 weeks.

Melissa WIlliams

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