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The Dreadful Bronchiolitis

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So Small C suddenly developed a fever one day ~39deg. He got well pretty quickly and was back to school two days later, although the cough continued to linger around for quite some time. Despite our attempts to separate him from the baby sister, Baby C (then 6-week old) got the bug as well and started to show various symptoms, including coughing, stuffy nose and vomiting. At that time, we weren’t sure whether the vomiting was due to reflux or flu, but each time after a feed, she would cough and throw up a lot of milk. As she was too young to have any medication, all we could do was to use nasal spray and aspirator to clear her nose so that she could breathe better.

By the 4th day, she appeared to be recovering well, so we brought her over to my parents’ place for the weekend. All was well until the next morning when she refused to nurse for the entire 6 hours! When we came back from quick lunch, we found Baby C to be looking really pale and she was also running a fever. Afraid that she might get dehydrated, we tried to force feed her using a syringe, but she was not making any effort to swallow. We then knew that we had to bring her to the hospital.

It was a Sunday, so there was a bit of queue at A&E at KKH. For those who had been there before, you would know that the patients would have to go through the nurses at the 1st station first before registration. We did not have to wait too long for our turn at the nurse’s station, and after taking her temperature and oxygen level, we were told to bring Baby C to the “do not enter” room. Given her age and condition, it was probably considered an emergency as four doctors rushed in the moment we entered the room. The doctors and nurses attended to her while asking us questions – they put a “box” around her tiny head and also did an x-ray on her, while tears were rolling down my eyes the whole time. They guessed (correctly) she was infected with Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which was the most common virus causing bronchiolitis – a common lung infection among young infants and toddlers.

Baby C was admitted to the high dependency ward due to her young tender age. I was not allowed to breastfeed her as her nose was too stuffy anyway to be able to suck, hence was put on drip. There was no medication and the treatment consisted of supplementing her with oxygen as well as nasal suctioning. Thankfully she got past the “peak” of the illness (typically at day 5) and was transferred to the normal ward the following day. They did not discharge her as she was still unable to do well without the oxygen aid. After a 3-night stay at KKH, Baby C was finally able to go home! She lost some weight during the RSV ordeal, but has since gained it back. As parents, all we want is for our kids to grow up healthy and happy, and I pray hard that my two Cs will do just that.

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