Spread Awareness For RSV Prevention & World Prematurity Day #MC #RSVAwareness #PreemieProtection #sponsored

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

Today is World Prematurity Day and I'd like to share a story that is very near and dear to my heart. Sunday, September 27th, 2009 was a very scary, yet important, day for our family. My husband had a stomach virus all weekend and, as I was feeling miserable, I was certain he'd passed it on to me. By 4pm, my stomach was hard as a rock and I was afraid that maybe I was actually having contractions, so we headed to the hospital, praying everything would be okay. Liam Alexander DeBord was born a few short hours later due to a placental abruption, which meant an emergency C-section had to be performed immediately. When he was born, he cried with vigor and weighed over 7 pounds even though he was 5 weeks early. The doctor thought this was a very good sign, but within minutes, they noticed he was having issues breathing. Being premature, Liam's lungs had not fully developed and, for the next three days, he needed assistance via breathing tubes and intubation. This was such a scary, uncertain time for our family and one that will never be forgotten. Thankfully, our doctors and nurses were absolutely amazing and helped us with every little obstacle in our way.

While Liam was in the NICU, my husband and I were required to take a special preemie class before bringing him home with us. During this class, we met many other parents of preemies and got to also hear their stories. Listening to each of them talk about their little babies, some of which were only a pound or two at birth, was not only educational, but reinforced the importance of prenatal care. We were lucky that Liam was only in the NICU for two weeks. Many of the other babies had been there for months and months.
Liam only a few hours after he was born!
Part of the class was also dedicated to infant breathing, infections, and prevention of those possible infections and viruses. RSV Prevention was at the top of the list and something the teacher taught about in great detail. While RSV is a typical seasonal virus for full-term children that causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms, it can be extremely dangerous for preemies. In fact, preemies are 2x more likely to get RSV! This is one of the reasons no other children are allowed in the NICU and there is a visitor limit set.

I have to admit that I knew little about RSV before I took this class. The truth is, one out of three mothers has never even heard of RSV. Liam was our second child and this class was the first time I'd heard about it! Even scarier, one of the smaller babies in the NICU had RSV and it was quite an ordeal of the preemie who already struggled with breathing before her symptoms began. RSV quickly became very close and personal for our NICU family and something we were vigilant to prevent.

What are the symptoms of severe RSV Disease? The most prevalent symptoms are coughing and wheezing, along with trouble breathing. If your child is having trouble breathing, such as rapid, difficult, or gasping breaths, please contact a medical professional immediately. Other symptoms include a temperature of 100.4 or more, extreme fatigue, difficulty feeding, and bluish coloring around the fingernails and mouth, which is caused from lack of oxygen.

Remember, there is NO treatment for RSV, so it's very important for parents, close friends, and family members to help protect children by taking preventative steps year-round. RSV is very, very contagious and can be spread through touching, sneezing, and coughing. During RSV season, these are some very important steps to preventing RSV disease:

  • Frequently wash hands, toys, and bedding.
  • Avoid crowded areas and other young children.
  • Never let anyone smoke around your baby.
  • Stay away from others who are sick and/or contagious.
 I cannot stress enough just how important it is to stay vigilant and to prevent against RSV. I was shocked to read that RSV disease is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life. There are approximately 125,000 hospitalizations in the United States each year and up to 200 infant deaths caused by RSV disease. This is why, as parents, we must educate ourselves and also continue to educate others about the dangers of RSV disease. Prevention is key and something we practice year-round. My kids wash their hands frequently while at school and I make them wash hands as soon as they get home, too.

What do you do to prevent RSV disease in your home? Do you know anyone who has had RSV? Please share this post with any parents, caregivers, or parents-to-be! Do your part to help prevent and spread the word about RSV disease!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for MedImmune. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.


Trista said...

Eliana spent her first day in the NICU and it was extremely hard on me. My heart goes out to all the mom's who has babies in the NICU it is not easy at all.

BrettBMartin said...

None of my kids had RSV as newborns, but my son had it as an infant. Scary stuff!! These are great tips

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