RSV(respiratory synctial virus) - Bronchiolitis

2.16.2008

As you all know I work part time in a family medicine office. Recently we have been have alot of babies come in with RSV. I just wanted to post alittle information about it. Some people have never even heard of it.
What is bronchiolitis?
Bronchiolitis is a lung infection caused by a virus. The average age of children who get bronchiolitis is 6 months. They are never older than 2 years.
The symptoms of bronchiolitis include:
-wheezing (making a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing out)
-breathing rapidly at a rate of over 40 breaths per minute
-tight breathing (having to push the air out)
-coughing (may cough up very sticky mucus)
-a fever and a runny nose that precede the breathing problems and cough.
The symptoms are similar to asthma.
What is the cause?
The wheezing is caused by a narrowing of the smallest airways in the lung (bronchioles). This narrowing results from inflammation (swelling) caused by a virus, usually the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV occurs in epidemics almost every winter. While infants with RSV develop bronchiolitis, children over age 2 years and adults just develop cold symptoms.
The virus is found in nasl secretions of infected people. It is spread by an infected person who sneezes or coughs less than 6 feet away from someone else or by his or her hands after touching the nose or eyes.
People do not develop permanent immunity to the virus, which means that they can be infected by it many time.
How long does it last?
Wheezing and tight breathing (difficulty breathing out) becomes worse for 2 or 3 days and then begin to improve. Overall, the wheezing lasts approximately 7 days and the cough about 14 days.
The most common complications of bronchiolitis is an ear infection, occurring in about 20% of infants. Bacterial pneumonia is an uncommon complication. Only 1% or 2% of children with bronchiolitis are hospitalized because they need oxygen or intravenous fluids.
In the long run, approximately 30% of children who develop bronchiolitis later develop asthma. Recurrences of wheezing occur mainly in children who have close relatives with asthma. Asthma is easily treated with medications.
How can I take care of my child?
-Medicines
About 1/3 of children with bronchiolitis are helped by asthma-type medicines. Your health care provider may prescribe medicine for your child.
-Warm fluids for coughing spasms
Coughing spasms are often caused by sticky secretions in the back of the throat. Warm liquids usually relax the airway and loosen the secretions. Offer warm lemonade or apple juice if your child is over 4 months old.
In addition, breathing warm, moist air helps to loosen up the sticky mucus that may be choking your child. You can provide warm mist by placing a warm, wet washcloth loosely over your child's nose and mouth. Or you can fill a humidifier with warm water and have your child breathe in the warm mist it produces. Avoid steam vaporizers because they can cause burns.
-Humidity
Dry air tends to make coughs worse. Use a humidifier in your child's bedroom.
-Suction of blocked nose
If the nose is blocked, your child will not be able to drink from a bottle or breast-feed. Most stuffy noses are blocked by dry and sticky mucus. Suction alone cannot remove dry secretions. Warm tap-water or saline nosedrops are better thatn any medicine you can by for loosening up mucus. Place three drops of warm water of saline in each nostril. After about one minute, use a soft rubber suction bulb to suck out the mucus. You can repeat this procedure several times until your child's breathing through the nose becomes quiet and easy.
-Feedings
Encourage your child to drink enough fluids.
Eating is often tiring, so offer your child breast milk, forumla, or regular whole milk(if he/she is over 1 year old) in smaller amounts at more frequent intervals. If your child vomits during a coughing spasm, feed them again.
-NO smoking
Tobacco smoke aggravates coughing. Children who have an RSV infection are much more likely to wheeze if they are exposed to tobacco smoke. Don't let anyone smoke in your home or around your baby.
When should I call my child's health care provider?
Call IMMEDIATELY if:
-Breathing becomes labored or difficult
-The wheezing becomes severe(tight)
-Breathing becomes faster thatn 60 breaths per minute(when your child is not crying)
Call within 24 hours if:
-Any fever lasts more than 3 days
-The cough lasts more that 3 weeks
Many of you may already have seen the commercials about this on TV. It is a serious infection that progresses rapidly if you aren't aware. We have seen alot of premies get this. There is a vaccine that they have been giving to premies and infants thru the winter season.
If you have questions about it at all, don't hesitate to call your doctor.

1 comments:

Shelley said...

We got the shots for this with both kids. It was sooooo expensive but worth it!

Neither of mine got it, but I was super careful and a hermit to avoid it! (Not that it always works to do that, but I did my best!)

Etsy Love!

Blog Archive

Label Cloud

  © Blogger templates Newspaper by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP