Respiratory Syncytial Virus

540 Words3 Pages
Bill Pruitt’s, “Keeping respiratory syncytial virus at bay” is a well-versed, easily understandable article written for the November issue of Nursing 2005. Throughout Pruitt’s piece, he provides the reader with the basic knowledge of this seriously contagious infection, how to prevent it and the vital skills needed for treating infected patients. Pruitt introduces his work with a case study of and older man, age 66, who was admitted to the emergency department with breathing troubles. Upon diagnosis, the underlying condition was RSV which led to his severe breathing complications. This was a surprise to me because I have always associated RSV with the infant population. According to Pruitt, ‘This contagious infection is more common in older adults than infants – and potentially just as deadly’ (Pruitt 62). He cites that a recent study has estimated that 14,000 older and high-risk adults die each year from RSV. These high risks include patients with COPD, heart failure, asthma and diabetes (62). Peaking in January and February, Respiratory syncytial virus is the virus causing most common colds, when it is limited to the upper respiratory tract. Unfortunately when the virus aggravates the lower respiratory tract, complications occur, including respiratory distress, pneumonia, bronchiolitis and possibility the development of asthma. Pruitt also states that each year 125,000 children (mostly under 6 months of age) require hospitalization, and of these, about 2,500 die (Pruitt 63). Beyond this age, by about two years old, children have been exposed to RSV and have developed and immunity. If diagnosis of this infection is made through cultures of respiratory secretions, treatment begins immediately. Keeping the patients SpO2 above 92% is paramount. Infants and children may need a ‘pediatric aerosol tent to provide a cool, oxygenated, humidified

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