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ERNursesCare is a blog incorporating my nearly 30 years of experience in the healthcare field with my passion for helping others, I want it to encourage others with injury prevention, healthy living, hard hitting choices, hot topics and various ramblings from my unique sense of humor. Come along and enjoy your journey......

Thursday, November 30, 2017

My Baby Is Sick... What is RSV?

When children are sick our mommy (and grandma) senses are on high alert, especially if the child is small. You take your baby to the doctor or the ER and he/she tests positive for something called "RSV"... what the heck is RSV? 

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a very common virus that leads to mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can be more serious in young babies, especially those in certain high-risk groups, such as premature infants, very young infants, or a child with health conditions that affect the lungs, heart or immune system. 

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) causes mild, cold-like symptoms in adults and older healthy children. It can cause serious problems in young babies, including pneumonia and severe breathing problems. Premature babies and those with other health problems have the highest risk. A child with RSV may have a fever, stuffy nose, cough, and trouble breathing. Lab tests can tell if your child has the virus. There is no specific treatment. You should give your child fluids to prevent dehydration. If needed, you can also give a pain reliever (not aspirin) for fever and headache.
RSV easily spreads from person to person. You can get it from direct contact with someone who has it or it by touching infected objects such as toys or surfaces such as countertops. Washing your hands often and not sharing eating and drinking utensils are simple ways to help prevent the spread of RSV infection. There is currently no vaccine for RSV.
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Quick Facts
  • RSV typically causes cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose, cough, and congestion. Fevers are common. The infection can progress to the lower respiratory tract to cause more severe illness such as bronchiolitis (inflammation of the small airways in the lung) or pneumonia in otherwise healthy infants and young children.
  • RSV is highly contagious through close contact with infected people, and it can live on toys and other surfaces for several hours.
  • Most children will have an RSV infection by the time they are 2 years old, and most will get better on their own within 8 to 15 days.
  • Every year, 75,000 to 125,000 children in the United States are admitted to the hospital for RSV infections.
  • For most children, fluids are the best treatment. Bronchodilators, medicines prescribed to help reduce airway resistance, may ease breathing in some cases. Antibiotics do not work against RSV, but a healthcare provider may prescribe them for complications that develop because of RSV.
  • Although deaths are relatively rare, RSV can be life-threatening for immune-compromised people, including premature infants, young children with heart and lung problems, and the elderly.
  • Researchers are working toward a vaccine, but none currently exists.
What can I do, I feel helpless.
Having a small child that is sick can leave you feeling helpless, they are so pitiful and feel so bad.
Here are some things you can do to help them feel better:
  • Give plenty of fluids. Avoid dairy - tends to thicken secretions and from my experience it will come back up a lot faster (yuck) If you breastfeed, continue to nurse.. breast-milk is healing and hydrating for little ones. 
  • Use a cool-mist humidifier/vaporizer during the winter months to keep the air moist. (Be sure to clean the vaporizer regularly.) Cool mist, not warm (warm mist grows more bacteria faster)
  • Blow little noses frequently (or use a nasal aspirator for infants). You need a really good nasal aspirator or "booger sucker", as the nurse at the pediatricians office or the ER for a good one. Keeping nasal passages clear will make small children feel much better, if they can't suck, they will be very unhappy. 
  • Give non-aspirin pain reliever, such as acetaminophen. Aspirin should not be used because it has been linked to Reye syndrome, a disease that affects the brain and liver.
  • Home remedies such as essential oils may help ease the symptoms, make sure to dilute these for small children and ask your homeopathic dr or pediatrician for recommendations. Use a diffuser at night and rub essential oil on child's feet to aid absorption (a little goes a long way with infants)  
  • Plenty of cuddling with mommy and daddy will make them feel safe and soothe their fears. 
When to Call the Doctor or Visit the ER
Children may need treatment if they show any of the following symptoms:

  • Great difficulty or fast breathing
  • Excessive wheezing or high pitched noises
  • Retractions, sucking in of chest wall or under sternum
  • Gray or blue skin color
  • High fever - greater than 101 or number your pediatrician has given you
  • Thick nasal discharge that is yellow, green, or gray
  • Worsening cough
  • Extreme tiredness (especially during times they are normally active)
  • No wet diapers in 8 hours or more
  • Anything you think is abnormal, you are the best judge of your child
I hope this helps you as a parent, grandparent or nurse. Education can empower us and make us feel more in control of scary situations. 

1 comment:

  1. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include.
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