Bethan's RSV Story

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Bethan explains what happened when her two daughters caught Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

My first-born daughter Mia was born at 29 weeks and caught RSV at two-and-a-half years old when she was at nursery. My youngest daughter, Daisy, was born at 35 weeks and caught RSV at just five weeks old.

When Mia first got poorly, her temperature soared and she had an awful cough, so I phoned 111 and was told to take her to A&E. Mia’s saturation levels were 91 and we were sent straight up to the children’s ward as a result. The medical team were concerned about chronic lung disease because they were born so early in preterm, but luckily, we were discharged with open access. Mia was ill for a few days and then got better.

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However, Daisy started to get worse later on that evening. She was tucking in at the ribs and stopped feeding, so I rang our local paediatric unit who asked to see us. We were admitted to the ward and Daisy went 24 hours without food, as whenever they tried to feed her, she vomited, so she needed an NG tube.

She also experienced chest recessions and head bobbing, and despite her saturation levels staying at 100, meaning she was maintaining oxygen, her co2 levels were rising. The doctors used nebulisers and put her on high flow oxygen - they had a nasal cannula though and luckily she wasn’t ventilated. Altogether we ended up spending seven nights and eight days in the hospital.

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By day seven Daisy was absolutely fine which was great, but very strange. One day they were getting x-rays and thinking that she would have to go on a ventilator, and the next she was okay. She was kept overnight for monitoring but taken off oxygen.

Thankfully I knew about RSV before my children caught it from a Facebook page for mums of premature babies. In general, the hospital and neonatal unit were so supportive, and it was also lucky that they caught it in summer when cases weren’t peaking.

Because of my experience with the NICU when her babies were premature, I wasn’t too worried, although I panicked when they mentioned potentially having to put Daisy on a ventilator!

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What is Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)?

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