Monday, October 11, 2010

Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Chase had his first RSV appointment of the season this morning and I'm so happy to say he did great! We were referred to a different office than last year, and I'm not complaining because it's about 35 minutes closer to my home than the office we used last year was. Nice!

Overall the appointment went well and we were out in less than an hour! For my fellow heart moms, you know that any doctor appointment lasting less than an hour is a blessing! ;)

The greatest thing about Chase's appointment this morning was that I learned more about RSV and more specifically, the Synegis shots he received this morning. I thought the shots were like every other vaccine that prevents the person from getting a particular disease, such as RSV. But actually, these Synegis shots DO NOT PREVENT CHASE FROM GETTING RSV; rather, they just make it to where IF he gets it, it won't be "as bad." Hmmm... I had no idea! What a horrible mommy, right? Not even knowing about this stuff I'm having injected into my son! Wow.

So I felt compelled to share some information about RSV for my readers (and family & friends who are around Chase) to help educate us all about this nasty virus!

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is a viral disease of the lungs. It is one of the most important causes of lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children.

RSV is spread by contact with droplets from the nose or throat of an infected person. Persons with mild infections usually get better without treatment. Severely ill children often need to be hospitalized. There is currently no vaccine to prevent RSV infection.

The best ways to prevent the spread of RSV are to cover coughs and sneezes and to wash hands often and well. Intravenous immune globulin treatment has recently been approved for use in high-risk infants.


What is respiratory syncytial virus infection?

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is one of the most important causes of lower respiratory illness in infants and young children. It also causes both mild and serious respiratory diseases in older children and adults.


What is the infectious agent that causes RSV infection?

RSV infection is caused by the respiratory syncytial virus.


Where is RSV infection found?

RSV infections occur worldwide. Most children are infected at least once by age 2 and continue to be reinfected throughout life. In temperate climates, RSV infections usually occur in the winter. Peaks occur in January and February in the United States.


How do people get RSV infection?

The virus is found in discharges from the nose and throat of an infected person. People can get RSV infection by:

- Breathing in droplets after an infected person has coughed
- Hand-to-mouth contact after touching an infected person
- Hand-to-mouth contact with a surface that an infected person has touched or coughed on


What are the signs and symptoms of RSV infection?

RSV infections can range from very mild illness to serious lower respiratory tract infections, including pneumonia, that occur mostly in the very young, the very old, and those with weakened immune systems. Symptoms can last for a few days to several weeks.

Signs and symptoms in young children are usually mild and similar to a cold. They include stuffy nose, cough, and sometimes ear infection. In older children and adults, RSV causes upper respiratory infection involving the nose, throat, or sinuses.

Children who develop a lower respiratory tract infection often have low-grade fever for several days, a cough that sometimes lasts more than 2 weeks, and respiratory symptoms including difficult or rapid breathing and deep coughing. Symptoms in newborns and young infants may include irritability, listlessness, and poor feeding.


What complications can result from RSV infection?

A person with a first RSV infection can develop severe breathing problems that need to be managed in the hospital. RSV infections in premature babies less than 6 months old and in infants with chronic lung, heart, or immune problems are most likely to be severe and lead to death.

((If that doesn't make you want to wash your hands often around babies like Chase, I don't know what will!!))


How soon after exposure do symptoms appear?

Illness usually starts within 3 to 5 days of infection.


How is RSV infection diagnosed?

There are tests for RSV infection, but the diagnosis is sometimes based on symptoms and time of year.


Who is at risk for RSV infection?

People of any age can be infected. Very young infants, premature infants, and children with underlying lung, heart, or immune system problems are at high risk for severe RSV disease. The virus can also cause serious illness in elderly persons and in adults with lung disease or weakened immune systems.


What complications can result from RSV infection?

Infants and young children with a first RSV infection can develop a severe infection in the lower respiratory tract. Approximately 80,000 children are hospitalized with these infections each year. Most children needing hospitalization are newborns and infants and those with weak immune systems, congenital heart or lung disease, or prematurity.


What is the treatment for RSV infection?

Most people with mild RSV infections usually get better without treatment. Care of patients with mild illness centers on relieving symptoms and easing breathing. Those with more serious infections are sometimes treated in the hospital with the anti-virus drug ribavirin. Some hospitalized patients need intensive care and mechanical ventilation (respirator).


How common is RSV infection?

RSV is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract illness in infants and young children. In the United States, approximately 50% of infants and young children become infected with RSV each winter season. RSV causes about 90,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths per year in children under age 5 years.


Is RSV infection an emerging infectious disease?

Yes.


How can RSV infection be prevented?

There is currently no RSV vaccine. The best ways to prevent the spread of RSV are to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands often and thoroughly, and dispose of used tissues properly. Immune globulin intravenous (IGIV) treatment to prevent RSV infection has recently been approved for use in high-risk infants.

Source: http://www.dhpe.org/infect/rsv.html

Thank you for reading this post and learning how to help protect me!

Love, Chase




Posted from my iPhone

First Birthday Stuff

I've been working on plans for Chase's first birthday party for at least 2 months now. For most of you who know me, that should come as no surprise! Since I mailed the invitations out last week, I'm so excited to share with you what I created! I wanted to do something different, but needed it to match his party theme, and wanted it to include his photo, too. No easy task, right? Well, after googling some ideas, I found one that I loved and created it for Chase's first birthday invitation. Without further ado...

His party theme is mod monkey:


And here's the matching invite (click the photo to see a larger image!):


It was SO MUCH FUN shooting those pics of the little guy. He was in such a great mood and was all smiles for mommy! I had a ton of pictures to choose from and I think the final product was absolutely perfect! Yay!

While I'm on the subject of his birthday invitation, I have to share the redneck/MacGuyver solution my husband created for me so I could get perfect, even coats of spraypaint on those letters you see in the photos. It was hilarious! It involved two step-ladders, some string, a level and 5 screws...


Wow, right? Seriously though... THANKS, HUBS!!!

Last week I was also finally able to order one of Chase's birthday presents: a bean bag! As you may recall, we bought LO a bean bag for her first birthday that matched her nursery decor and it has been the biggest hit over the years! She plops down in that thing several times a day and it has held up wonderfully. We thought we'd keep the tradition and find one for Chase, too! Well, it turns out the company I ordered LO's from just didn't have a pattern that I loved, so of course I had to make things difficult and order a custom one with fabric I found online. So his bedding is called Jungle Tales and is totally cute like this:


Lots of dots n' stuff. I was inspired by the dots and the chooclate-y color scheme, as well as the dots from the cribsheet. You can't see the sheet very well in this photo, so here's a close-up of:


After some online fabric shopping, I decided on this fun pattern of--of course, dots!--which all happen to match the overall color scheme of his room quite well!


This fabric obviously doesn't incorporate all of the colors of his bedding, but the ones it does include definitely match nicely! Besides, I figure the bean bag will reside in the living room next to LO's, so it's not like I'll be comparing it side-by-side with his bedding set! Plus, I'm sure one day his bedroom will turn into the latest Disney craze (Cars, Toy Story, etc.) and it won't matter anymore, anyway! If he enjoys his bean bag even half as much as LO, it will be money well spent! So typical me, I ordered this fabric over a month ago and have been waiting anxiously to send it to the bean bag company (highly recommended, by the way--their bean bags come with a TEN YEAR warranty!!!) because they only take about TWO DAYS to turn around a custom bean bag. I finally shipped the fabric to them last week so I could cross this item off of my To Do List. Yay!

Over the weekend, I made some serious progress with some other party-related items on my list. I'm putting together what I hope will be the cutest little treat bags for our party guests, complete with some very relevant and personalized items from Chase! So cute!!! I've also got to fine-tune the details surrounding the party food and also sketch out the cake design in my head so I can put some serious effort into creating a masterpiece! Haha... I know it'll NEVER look as good as the one I have in my head, but I've been putting a LOT of work into finding the perfect cake recipes! I have a wonderful chocolate recipe, but am still completely without a white cake recipe that (A) doesn't come from a box and/or (B) doesn't taste like cornbread (yes, for some reason all of my "from scratch" white cake recipes come out tasting like cornbread--gag!). So, I'll figure that out soon. I also worked with some fondant last week and decided that, as cute as it looks on the cake, I absolutely hate it!!! It was super-easy to work with and definitely did give me the smooth finish I wanted for the cake, but it tasted awful (even though I made it myself from a very trusted recipe) and is all but impossible to eat! I'll stick with a super-duper vat o' buttercream for these cakes!

So, that's a little update on some of the birthday stuff I've been working on for the past few weeks. There is much left to be done, so I'd better get my little guy out of bed and get this day moving! My poor fella has his first RSV shotS this morning at 10:30 AM, so hopefully he'll get through them okay. Last year he only had to have ONE shot per month, but since he's bigger (weigh-wise) this year, he'll get one shot in EACH leg, once per month, from October through March. My poor guy!!! But I sincerely believe it's worth it when you consider the alternative (a respiratory virus like RSV would be devastating to someone with a special heart like Chase!).