In most cases bronchiolitis is not a severe illness however some babies will need hospital care. These are the stories of parents whose children have had severe cases of bronchiolitis. They have chosen to share their story to help other parents understand more about bronchiolitis and how serious it can sometimes be.
Hannah has 11 month old twin girls, Evie and Isabel, and two other children aged six and eight years.
Evie and Isabel were born at 37 weeks with no complications at birth, although they did have a low birth weight. The twins were ten weeks when they were first affected by bronchiolitis. Both twins were hospitalised. Evie spent New Year's Eve on children's assessments and was sent home that day, but was rushed back in on New Year's Day and went in an air box and had a nasogastric tube.
"It was stressful because we knew the other twin was going to get it. The older children did not know what was going on and it was pretty scary for them."
She got steadily worse during the day and ended up on CPAP and IV access. She was in hospital for six days. Isabel was diagnosed whilst Evie was in HDU and was admitted the day after Evie came home. She went through the same process and ended up in HDU and on CPAP. At the time, Evie was more severely affected and was nearly transferred to Bristol or Southampton to be put on a ventilator, but Isabel was hospitalised again a month later for four to five days.
Hannah was given information on the causes of bronchiolitis when the twins fell ill as both girls were tested for RSV. Previously, Hannah was a student midwife and had received Royal College of Nursing papers which contained a little bit of information on bronchiolitis. However, as a parent she had never been told anything about bronchiolitis. HDU did provide some advice about how to manage twins, which proved to be helpful as Isabel became symptomatic whilst Evie was in hospital.
"There is nothing available for parents. As a family, it just makes you more aware of problems when they are ill and I am a lot more cautious when it comes to them having a cold."
Fortunately, neither Evie nor Isabel suffers from long term effects. For a period of time afterwards, they were more chesty when they had a cold but this improved after they learned to breathe through their mouths rather than through their noses.
"We were told about readmissions and now I worry at this time of year even though we have been told that it is less likely that they will get it now they are older, it is still scary and it constantly weighs on your mind."
In most cases bronchiolitis is not a severe illness. This is a story of a parent whose child has had a severe case of bronchiolitis. They have chosen to share their story to help other parents understand more about bronchiolitis and how serious it can sometimes be.
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