Saturday, January 31, 2009

Attack of the RSV

No, this is not a post regarding bible version wars… it’s about human respiratory syncytial virus.

Last Friday, Tabitha started getting a bit of a cough, considering the amount of dust and pollen in the air and the rest of the family (and county’s) issues with allergies, we did not think it was anything too bad. We kept her home, and ran the humidifier to help cut down on the dust and pollen in the house. By Monday however, this “innocent” little cough had turned into a horrible, gag inducing, phlegm-ball spewing illness. Denita had to call EMS out while I was at work to have Tabitha checked out.

By the time the EMTs had checked Tabitha out, her vitals were stable and she had calmed down. Denita called Tabi’s doctor first thing in the morning to setup a checkup for her. I got Tabitha to the doctor at about 2:00pm and her PulseOx reading was about 88%. They put her on an O2 line and her PulseOx reading would go back up to 98%, but when the O2 was taken away, her level would drop to 88% again. She also had a serious mucus buildup going on in her sinus cavities.

After a few breathing treatments and several attempts to remove the mucus with a bulb syringe, the pediatrician got the results back from the nose swab test… Positive for RSV.

For adults and older kids, RSV is just annoying, but for babies (especially those just over a month old), it can become life-threatening due to the mucus buildup leading to further complications like pneumonia. Tabitha’s pediatrician arranged transportation via EMS to Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin so there would not be any chance of her choking on mucus during the trip.

Thankfully, the infection had not reached the point of mucus getting into her lungs, so with just a lot of vacuum line work with her nose and overnight observation, Tabitha was able to return home Wednesday afternoon.

Since then, we have gotten some better air purifiers for the house (to cut down on the irritants in the air) and after just one hour of these things running, there was a noticeable difference to the air quality (in fact, I was actually getting a little light-headed from extra oxygen due to the fact that I was breathing easier than I probably had in years! [for those interested, the Therapure 201M is well worth the investment]).

Tabitha is now sleeping easier and able to keep down her food (Thursday, we almost had to take her back to the hospital because, while the mucus buildup was not as bad, she was still getting into coughing fits that would cause her to eject everything she had eaten). Things are slowly returning back to normal here at home. Tabitha will be confined to the house for a while as this virus runs its course. The doctor said that it might be 10 days or so before the mucus issue goes away, and it might be up to 6 weeks before the cough finally goes away.


Cheryl said...

Poor little girl! And poor worried parents!

Glad to hear she's doing better - RSV is some major nasty stuff.

Cross Campus Ministry said...

The Guardian Air Plug in is good also
you can buy them at