Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a viral organism that can cause respiratory tract infections. It most commonly causes bronchiolitis (inflammation of the lower airways) and pneumonia in children and infants under the age of 1. It is a very contagious virus and can be life-threatening for high-risk infants.
Common symptoms of RSV disease include:
- Nasal congestion
- Poor feeding
Other symptoms your child may experience include:
- Ear infection
- Rapid breathing (retractions)
- Turning blue (apnea)
Treatment for severe RSV is challenging and can involve hospitalization and isolation. Prevention is, therefore, very important.
One of the most significant ways to avoid RSV infection is to practice good hand washing. It is also important to keep high-risk infants away from individuals with cold symptoms and to avoid crowded areas such as shopping centers and day care settings.
In addition to prevention activities, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a series of injections of an antibody called Synagis for those infants at risk for severe RSV. While Synagis does not prevent RSV infection, it will decrease the severity of symptoms and length of illness.
The Home Care pediatric nurses from Cincinnati Children’s can administer Synagis injections in the comfort of your home. Synagis is given monthly throughout the RSV season, which typically runs from November to March. Our nurses also teach families how to identify respiratory tract infections and how to avoid getting them.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Your first home nursing visit will last between one and two hours.
Your baby will receive a complete physical assessment, including weight and vital signs, as well as a review of medications, nutrition, and medical history. The nurse will share information about Synagis® , which can help prevent RSV. Your
child’s nurse will collaborate with your primary physician as needed, throughout your child’s admission to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Home Care. Our nursing staff is available to families for RSV support, education and management throughout the course of therapy.
For more information about Respiratory Syncytial Virus Care contact Home Care Services via phone at 513-636-HOME (4663), or email at email@example.com.