Tuesday, February 24, 2015


After two years of Synagis shots and doing everything we could to keep our former preemies quarantined during flu season, both came down with RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus. 

We thought they had just acquired a bad cold, most likely exposed at some point during James's MRI at PSL late last week. James came down with symptoms first and was treated first. He then passed it along to his sister, who unfortunately has the more fragile lungs of the two. 

Maisie went downhill late Sunday night. She was unable to uphold her oxygen saturations during nebulizer treatment and would go into the 60's, requiring more oxygen to get her oxygen to sufficient levels. Her hands and legs were ice cold, a sign that she was not perfusing effectively. Maisie went from needing 1 liter of oxygen to 4 liters in a matter of an afternoon. 

We made the decision to go into the ER late Sunday night. We prepared our things and got James ready to spend the night with Jimmy's parents. Jimmy did a quick run of the driveway with the snowblower, and after buckling the kids in their car seats we were off. 

The roads were manageable but icy so we took our time heading to Denver. The closest pediatric ER was Swedish and we were on our way. Maisie started out fine but during the drive she became lethargic and sleepy. I hooked her up to the pulse ox and saw that she had oxygen saturations in the 80's at 4 liters of oxygen, the max in our tank. Her heart rate was in the 30's and I did everything I could to keep her awake and responding to me. I kept the pulse ox on her and monitored her the whole way down, knowing that we were on a really fine line.  Luckily Maisie responded pretty well, watching videos from Frozen and looking at pictures of she and James playing together. 

By the time we got to the ER, the team checked her in right away and made sure she was stable. It turns out she had a very high fever, which must have materialized during our preparations and our trip down but was masked by her cold extremities. She had a temperature of 105.9 upon admittance and was immediately given Ibuprofen and a nebulizer and oxygen. We were told she would be admitted and that they would run tests for the flu and RSV. 

We spent late Sunday night, Monday, and Tuesday in the hospital with Maisie. She had a positive RSV test (and therefore, James had it also). She had fevers ranging from 99-104.5 and was on a pretty steady 3 liters of oxygen for the majority of her stay. Only today have they been able to wean on her oxygen and make progress towards a possible discharge later this week. She is lethargic, at times restless, but doing pretty well. 

The hospital staff is only doing one new nebulizer medicine, called Hypertonic Saline, which has really helped Maisie. Additionally we are doing the "Vest" chest physiotherapy to help loosen secretions in the lungs. Both have been helpful. Otherwise they are continuing all of the treatments that we had been doing at home. It is nice to know we were on the right track, but tough to be in the hospital with one kid. We are lucky to have Jimmy's parents who are still watching James while we are with Maisie. Thankfully James is pretty much recovered from his RSV and pneumonia. 

I wish we never had to do this RSV a business but it is another cost of having preemies. The nurses here say that even a term infant doesn't have the same risk factors as a preemie / former preemie when faced with RSV. I only wish we could have avoided it, but with the number of people infected right now and increase in hospitalizations currently it doesn't surprise me that we came down with RSV. 

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