RSV is a common childhood illness that can sometimes result in your little one being hospitalized but how do you know when that's necessary? Nancy Naeve Brown asked a pediatrician and a Sioux Falls mom who is dealing with a very sick baby.
Jackie Lockwood has not left the side of her sick 6 month old baby boy Tristen since he was admitted to Avera McKennan Hospital with a bad case of RSV, respiratory syncytial virus. His pediatrician Dr. Kara Bruning at the main Avera McGreevy Clinic says it is definitely going around right now.
Dr. Kara Bruning with Avera Medical Group McGreevy says, "Anyone cal get RSV including adults but in older people you have larger airways so if you get congestion and mucus you can clean it out and it's not a big deal. In little children or kids with a history of asthma they have trouble clearing it so you get a bunch of mucus when you have little tiny airways you have trouble breathing."
Baby Tristen has that classic wheezing that is often associated with RSV. He is struggling to catch his breath which, as you can imagine, is extremely nerve racking for his momma.
Jackie says, "Especially when you can't monitor if he is getting oxygen in his system. When do you worry? "
That's why Jackie was almost relieved when Tristen was admitted to the hospital. Even though he doesn't like to be held down to get the stuff sucked out of his nose, this machine is stronger and more effective than anything mom and dad could do at home.
Jackie says, "I know he can be monitored and is in great care. If something were to go wrong in the middle of the night at home (I wouldn't know). I'd much rather have him somewhere where interventions can happen."
So many parents struggle with knowing when to go to the doctor when their baby is sick.
Dr. Bruning says, "For any child under 2 months of age and they get a fever you need to call the doctor right away. For kids over 2 months of age if they start coughing and working hard to breath and you watch them and can see their ribs coming in every time you take a breath and hear audible wheezing, you hear extra sounds you need to see your doctor.
Since there is no cure, no treatment for RSV the only thing you can do to prevent your child from getting RSV is to wash your hands and theirs as often as possible and their toys.
Jackie says, "He seems to be doing good. He's eating, his demeanor is okay. He's still a sick boy, still a little cranky but they're trying to get his lungs cleared out and once we can do that and can go without (supplemental) oxygen we'll get to go home."
As kids we grow up thinking a kiss from mom will fix everything, but when it can't it's nice to know the staff like RN's Vilisa Even and Angela Rye in the pediatric unit at Avera McKennan can help make it all better as soon as possible.
Tristen ended up staying in the hospital for 4 days, 3 nights. Nancy checked with his mom and he is doing great now and back to being his happy smiley self.