RESPIRATORY SYNCYTIAL VIRUS SOLICITORS - MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
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Respiratory syncytial virus is a virus that causes an infection of the bronchial tubes and lungs, particularly in infants and young children. The infection can occur in adults but then it only causes cold symptoms with cough, runny nose, stuffy nose, sore throat, fever, mild headache and malaise. In preterm infants and babies with lung problems, the disease can be very severe and life threatening.
Respiratory syncytial virus is very contagious. It can easily be spread through droplets that spill out when a person sneezes or coughs. RSV can also survive on surfaces like doorknobs and countertop surfaces so that it can pass from one person to another just through touching of these surfaces. It has the capacity to spread quickly through schools and daycare centers so that many adults and children are infected at once. Most children are infected with the virus by the time they reach two years of age. Epidemics of RSV are common from November through early spring. The infection generally lasts only a week but can last several weeks in those with poor immune systems or secondary infections with bacteria.
The diagnosis of RSV depends on a history and physical examination consistent with RSV. There is often a cough, sometimes wheezing and chest symptoms more likely than with a common cold. The best way to detect the presence of RSV is to suction mucus from a bulb syringe or using a cotton swab to isolate out some mucus. This mucus is checked in a laboratory for the presence of RSV virus. This test is very specific for RSV.
You can prevent RSV infections by not touching people who are infected and by frequently washing your hands. You can clean up countertops and doorknobs with anti-viral wipes. You should wash your hands after caring for a person who might have RSV. If you have an older child with probable RSV, keep them away from babies or younger children, who tend to have much more trouble with the disease than older children.
Kids at risk for RSV because of prematurity or poor immune systems should get a monthly injection of a medication that contains RSV antibodies. It should be given from November to April and provides short term relief from getting RSV infections. This is why it must be given monthly. Talk to your doctor about whether or not your child qualifies for getting the monthly injection.
The treatment of RSV depends on the symptoms and on the severity of the disease. Antibiotics don't work on RSV and only work if there is a secondary bacterial infection. Medications can be given to open the airways, such as albuterol and other inhaled beta agonist medications. Infants with RSV often need to be hospitalized for oxygen therapy and respiratory therapies given around the clock. Fluids are monitored and the person might need to be given IV fluids.
If you take care of a child at home with respiratory syncytial virus, you need to keep them well hydrated. You need to get a cool mist vaporizer and use it in the infant's or child's room so that the humidity can soothe the airways. A cool mist vaporizer keeps the nasal and lung mucus from getting sticky and difficult to bring up. Clean the cool mist vaporizer each day with bleach so it doesn't cause mold in the vaporizer.
Use a bulb syringe for babies and young children who cannot blow their nose. This gets rid of excess nasal mucus and clears the airway for breathing. Treat any fever your child has with acetaminophen. Do not use aspirin in children. Ibuprofen can be used to reduce fever as well.
Call the doctor if your child has a high fever and appears ill, has thick, discolored nasal discharge, has a worsened cough or one that produces discolored sputum (yellow, gray or green in color) or shows evidence of being dehydrated. If you have an infant with RSV, call the doctor if the baby is particularly irritable or listless, refusing to breast or bottle-feed. If your baby is having trouble breathing or is breathing quickly and shallowly, call the doctor. Blue lips or blue fingertips are also a bad sign that needs your doctor's attention.
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Medical Negligence Solicitors
Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our Respiratory Syncytial Virus solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don�t win then you don�t pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a Respiratory Syncytial Virus solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.
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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here