Mum warns about the dangers of bronchiolitis

She thought her baby girl simply had colds and cough, but then she learned it was something more serious after just a few hours...

Mums and dads, have you ever heard of bronchiolitis? One mum had to find out about this often-misdiagnosed condition the hard way. She shared her experience in a Facebook post, which has been shared over 25,000 times.

Addressing parents of babies and small children, Beth Foster warned against bronchiolitis, a condition that’s dangerous but easily missed.

“It starts with just a simple cough and cold and can turn to so much more within hour,” she writes, recalling how her daughter Myah was struggling to breathe, her stomach pumping fast.

“I took her to the doctor on Tuesday and he prescribed some eye drops for a gunky eye, at that point she wasn’t struggling,” she continues.

After turning purple because of a coughing fit, they found out she had bronchiolitis

bronchiolitis

Screenshot from Beth Foster’s Facebook page

While they were at a Christmas party, the daughter started having a severe coughing fit.

“Her face turned purple for around 15 seconds,” recalls Foster, who attributes her baby’s condition with the extremely cold climate.

After calling the doctor’s hotline, she rushed her child to the hospital according to the doctor’s advice.

Once there, medical staff told them that her child’s illness was something serious.

“I was told they’re surprised she didn’t end up in an ambulance. We had no clue how serious this all was until that point,” adds Foster.

She shared their experience on December 2017, when they were expected to spend up to a week in the hospital. During this time, Myah was “hooked up to lots of machines, on the high dependency unit in the children’s ward, on oxygen, feeding tubes and having to be sedated just to get some sleep.”

Myah, born on November 2017, was one month old.

In closing, Foster urges parents to always have their babies checked even if they just have a simple cold or cough.

“There is nothing more heart breaking,” she writes in closing. “Even if your baby has a slight cough or cold, just get checked out. Please spread awareness as before all this we didn’t even know what bronchiolitis was.”

Bronchiolitis signs parents should know about

Bronchiolitis in children is a viral lung infection that causes the smallest air passages of the lungs (bronchioles) to swell or become inflamed and congested.

It often strikes infants aged three to nine months old. Those most at risk are:

  • Babies who are not breastfed
  • Those who were born prematurely
  • Those born with a heart or lung condition
  • Babies with a compromised immune system
  • Those exposed to secondhand smoke
  • Babies who are in crowded places where the virus is present

Mums and dads, be extra careful because bronchiolitis can often mimic a simple bout of cough and colds. But it has additional symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing, crackling or rattling sounds in the lungs
  • Bluish or purplish appearance of the skin due to lack of oxygen
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Sunken ribs upon inhalation (in children)
  • Nasal flaring when breathing (in babies)
  • Rapid breathing

For young children, hospitalisation is often necessary. During their hospital stay, they will be hooked up to oxygen, a nebuliser, and intravenous fluid treatments. Medications can also be prescribed to help open up your baby’s bronchioles.

Once discharged from the hospital, those with bronchiolitis will require lots of rest and hydration.

Make sure your home is free of chemicals and smoke. Having a humidifier can also help.

It usually takes kids about a week  to recover.

We have reached out to Beth Foster to know more about Myah’s condition. You can read her Facebook post here

Sources: Mayo Clinic, Healthline

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