/ by UK HealthCare
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common respiratory virus that causes cold-like symptoms and can be especially serious for infants and young children.
RSV can lead to more severe illnesses such as bronchiolitis, so Dr. Landon Jones, Medical Director for Pediatric Emergency Medicine at our Makenna David Pediatric Emergency Center, shares what you should know about bronchiolitis, how you can treat it at home and when to know if a hospital stay is necessary. Watch our full interview with Dr. Jones at the bottom of the page.
What is bronchiolitis?
If you ever heard somebody say their baby has RSV, what they most likely mean is their child has bronchiolitis caused by RSV. RSV is the most common virus that actually causes [bronchiolitis]. But there's a ton of other viruses that cause it, too.
It’s really just the upper respiratory symptoms in particular in kids – adults will pretty much end up with a common cold, but with younger kids, it'll go a little bit deeper, and it causes them to wheeze.
What’s at-home treatment like for bronchiolitis?
The treatment is suction, some more suction, and when you're done with that, even more suction!
You also want to use saline, and you want to lay your little kiddo down. If you have the mister, use it. If you have a squeeze bottle, use it.
But what you want to do is drop, drop, drop, and then sit them up. We need you to sit them up for about a minute. The minute is really, really important, because your whole goal when you're trying to do this is hydrate snot. So if you go drop, drop, drop, drop, suck, suck – all you're really doing is taking out what you just put in.
Also remember that it's six or eight drops – not one or two drops – but six or eight drops on each side. After that minute is done, then you can lay them back down, and then you can suction them out. You'll be amazed at how much more snot that you can actually get out.
The best time to do suction is before they eat and before they go to sleep. They have to have their nose to breathe while they're eating.
If they're breastfeeding, you're going to find them off, on, off, on, off, on, off when they're really stuffy because they're having to stop to catch their breath because they're having trouble breathing.
How do I know if my child needs to go to the hospital?
The things to think about are oxygen numbers, how hard are they working to breathe, and are they able to stay hydrated? If you meet all of those criteria and you're doing OK, then typically from our perspective, you're usually safe to go home, unless you have some extenuating circumstances or something that makes a little bit more difficult to discharge you.
Watch our full interview with Dr. Jones.