Wednesday, January 5, 2011

RSV prevention

RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) seems to be everywhere! i'm a nurse in a pediatric intensive care unit, so listen up!

rsv can just be a common and mild cold for you or i, but itty bitties can get really sick. our unit has more than a few babies and children admitted with rsv right now. my friend's nephew is hospitalized for rsv. i have a co-worker whose newborn is hospitalized with it too. there seems to be a wave of cases right now. which is not surprising considering the holidays just passing. lots of snot nosed cousins playing together in tight quarters fighting over new toys. 

be safe and smart
  • wash your hands
  • wash your hands 
  • wash your hands 
  • frequently! like to the point of feeling ocd
  • cough/sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
  • know that kissing your baby can transmit the virus 
  • if your baby seems sick, keep them home from daycare, playdates, etc. 
  • keep your baby away from young kids who have snot running down their noses and are coughing!
  • call your pediatrician if your baby has trouble breathing, fast breathing or shortness of breath, a barky-like cough, seems overly lethargic or not him/herself, difficulty feeding, or a fever

in most babies, kids and adults your body will clear up the infection on its own. sometimes, though, babies and small children have trouble fighting the infection and begin to have too much trouble breathing, staying hydrated, etc so they need to be in the hospital for supportive care. rsv is a virus so it cannot be treated with antibiotics. i don't want too scare you too much, but i have see babies die from rsv infections, so this can be serious. the best treatment is prevention!

just be aware. even if you don't have a baby, you could pass it on to someone who then passes it on to someone else with a baby or someone with a decreased immune system. let's all protect ourselves and each other from getting sick!

for more info:

CDC information

treating your baby & when to call the doctor

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