As part of our commitment to excellence in patient care and education, we at Littleton Adventist Hospital, are taking steps to help keep your family safe and healthy. Our goal is to empower you with the knowledge of early symptoms and raise awareness of proper precautions - in hopes of keeping this highly contagious virus from being spread. Proper education can prevent a treatable case of RSV from becoming critical.
What is RSV?
Respiratory syncytial (sin-SISH-uhl) virus (RSV) is a transmittable virus affecting the respiratory system, causing cold-like symptoms in healthy children but can lead to serious lung infections for some young babies. It is important to know the symptoms of RSV and to be aware if your child might be in a high-risk category for this virus.
High-risk categories include:
- Premature infants (delivered between 23-37 weeks)
- Babies with heart or lung disease
RSV outbreaks are most common in the fall and spring, and will have reached most children by age two. Coming in contact with contaminated bodily secretions spreads the virus. Children are particularly susceptible because of their desire to put things into their mouths. The RSV virus can live for several hours on some objects, so it is difficult to eliminate, especially in busy places such as daycares.
Symptoms of RSV:
- Nasal flaring
- Troubled breathing
If your baby is showing these symptoms please call your pediatrician.
Testing & Treatment
Testing for the virus can be done at the hospital with a simple nasal fluid sample. Antibiotics do not help treat RSV. Most infections go away by themselves; however, infants and young children may be admitted to the hospital where they will benefit from oxygen, humidified air and IV fluids. If you are at all concerned please see your doctor.
- Wash your hands before touching your baby
- Insist that other people wash their hands before touching your baby
- Keep sick people away from your baby, and ask them to wear a mask, if necessary
- Remember that kissing can spread RSV to babies
- Limit younger children's interaction with your baby, as children are more susceptible to having and spreading RSV
- Do not expose your baby to tobacco smoke as it increases the risk for RSV
At Littleton Adventist Hospital NICU, it only takes a brief stay to remain part of our lives forever. The tiny miracles that pass through our unit leave a big imprint on our hearts, and we absolutely delight in the chance to reunite with members of our NICU family, as well as their amazing parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters who have given them so much love and support.
Each year, we invite our former patients to a NICU Reunion at our hospital. We gather current photos of the children and photos from when they stayed with us in the NICU. The collection of pictures is displayed in our unit for all to see. Other families passing through our NICU along their journey draw great encouragement from the evidence of such amazing progress in the other children.
We spend one afternoon together; enjoy the featured entertainment, refreshments and catch up with old friends. Many of our former families who have shared time together in the NICU use this as an annual opportunity to reunite with one another. To our staff, this truly is a family reunion—an occasion for great joy and celebration.
If you are part of our NICU family, plan on attending our annual NICU Reunion - details to come.