Nov 17, 2011

RSV Prevention and Preemie Awareness Day

That's Mark's hand in mine at 1 weeks old and Molly at 1 week old.


Today is RSV Prevention and Premature Awareness Day and as a mom of two preemies, this is a day that is close to my heart. Having a premature baby is terrifying. Instead of the birth of my twins being that happiest day of my life, it was one of the worst days of my life. My little stinkers wrapped their cords around their necks and had to be delivered via emergency c-section at 30 weeks. Molly was 3lbs 11oz and Mark was 3 lbs 12oz-which is a great weight for 30 week old twins but still tiny.

They spent 42 and 50 days respectively in the NICU and when they came home they were still smaller than most newborns. I had to take care of them differently than most babies since they were so fragile. One thing that I was aware of was the risk of RSV. RSV is a very dangerous lung disease for babies born before 36 weeks. In most children, RSV is very similar to a cold. But in preemies, RSV can be deadly.
 
I took Mark and Molly to see a lung doctor every month during RSV season (typically Oct-April) to get a RSV vaccination. I knew that this shot would help protect them from getting RSV. Here is some information on RSV from MedImmune.

RSV Quick Facts:

·         RSV is the leading cause of infant hospitalization, responsible for more than 125,000 hospitalizations and up to 500 infant deaths each year.
·         RSV occurs in epidemics each fall through spring. The CDC has defined “RSV season” as beginning in November and lasting through March for most parts of North America.
·         Certain regions have longer RSV seasons than others, with the season beginning as early as July (e.g., Florida) or ending in April.
·         Despite its prevalence, one-third of mothers have never heard of RSV.
Prevention is Key:
There is no treatment for RSV, so it’s important for parents to take the following preventive steps to help protect their child:

·         Wash hands, toys, bedding, and play areas frequently
·         Ensure you, your family, and any visitors in your home wash their hands or use hand sanitizer
·         Avoid large crowds and people who may be sick
·         Never let anyone smoke near your baby
·         Speak with your child’s doctor if you believe he or she may be at high risk for RSV, as a preventive therapy may be available

Be Aware of Symptoms:

Contact your child’s pediatrician immediately if your child exhibits one or more of the following:

·         Persistent coughing or wheezing
·         Rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths
·         Blue color on the lips, mouth, or under the fingernails
·         High fever
·         Extreme fatigue
·         Difficulty feeding

Thankfully, Mark and Molly never contracted RSV. I credit that to my hand washing policy and getting the RSV vaccine. You can help protect your preemie by giving your baby the RSV vaccine. And for those of us who just love to hold/touch babies, understand the importance of washing your hands first and always ask mom if it's OK first. I can't tell you how annoyed I would get when people would just touch my kiddos. I knew they meant well, but I needed to protect them against their germs. You can get more information about RSV at rsvprotection.com.

This is my favorite NICU picture!


“I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of MedImmune and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”

2 comments:

  1. Your little ones are so precious! I worried about RSV a lot while Roxy was little.

    Happy World Prematurity Day!

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  2. They're so sweet! I look at pics and I remember but it just feels like an out of body experience to look back because Cakes is so big and healthy now. I was petrified of RSV and basically a shut in until the end of May - the only places we went were my parent's house and the pediatrician's office. There was no way I was going into some public place and possibly having her get sick after all she'd already been through.

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