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Utah mom warns parents after 3-month-old intubated with RSV

Posted at 4:40 PM, Nov 04, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY — A common pediatric illness is making a comeback after nearly vanishing last year due to covid precautions keeping kids out of the classroom. Doctors are seeing an influx of RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) cases- and for some babies, it leads to being intubated.

3-month-old Grayson is one of those babies on a ventilator. His mom, Catherine Rice, rushed him to the hospital last Friday, after she noticed him breathing incredibly fast.

“Even though I knew it was RSV, I did not think RSV could do this to babies…like I didn’t know they could be intubated, that they could almost die, that they could code,” said Catherine Rice.

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Grayson is stable right now, but his mom Catherine is sharing his story to warn other parents to not let their guard down. With social distancing measures in place last year, there were virtually no cases of RSV, according to Dr. Dustin Monroe, with MountainStar Children’s Services.

Now that kids are back in the classroom, and safety protocols have been eased, they’re seeing an uptick in RSV. In fact, in his 10-year-career, Dr. Monroe says he’s never seen this much RSV in October as he witnessed last month.

The virus is especially hard on young babies.

“It will cause excessive mucus production. It particularly hits hard on children less than 2. Their airways are a lot smaller and the mucus production is so overwhelming they have a hard time breathing,” said Dr. Monroe.

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The same Coronavirus precautions like good handwashing and social distancing can help prevent the spread of RSV.

If an older child has the sniffles or seems sick, doctors recommend keeping them away from smaller children who will have a hard time breathing.

Most children peak with the worst part of the illness around the third day, and this is when most hospitalizations occur.

Dr. Monroe says to try and prevent hospitalization, make sure to keep your child hydrated and keep up suctioning to clear out the nose.