Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'd never heard of it before. Bronchiolitis. I even had to look it up to see how to spell it! Not a very nice virus for babies to get, but unfortunately, quite common at this time of year.

The symptoms are very similar to those your baby would suffer with a cold or cough. However, it was the gasping for breath and the refusing to feed which made us become more concerned. That and Harriet's scream which changed from a girly baby 'wah' to a manly 'roar'!!

So, the symptoms include:
  • stuffy nose
  • mild fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • refusing to eat / drink
Harriet's had this virus for some weeks although it wasn't so bad and having taken her to see the GP and had her oxygen levels checked, because she was at 94%, there was no need to go to hospital.

However, after we thought it had all gone away, one quite Friday night last week turned into a bit of a panic. The evening was tough. Jerry was out with his mates for a curry and Harriet screamed. All night. This is when the scream changed into a 'roar'. I was in constant contact with Jer as I thought it was a trapped burp that I just couldn't do anything about. I refused to let Jer cut his night short, so did as much as I could to calm her down, but she wouldn't drink her milk either. Eventually, after about 4 or 5 hours, she fell asleep. Probably from exhaustion. Jerry returned home and we all went to bed.

We were then awoken by Harriet 'roaring' at 3.00am. Also waking Drew who we managed to clam down and get her back to sleep. We called NHS Direct although I wasn't sure we needed to. Jer was adamant her breathing was worse, but I wasn't sure. Always good to go with instinct and to double-check though.

On calling NHS Direct and answering their initial questions, they called for the paramedics and ambulance. Within minutes, they were all here and confirmed that her oxygen levels were in the 80's and she needed to be admitted to hospital. Her colour was very pale too and that was quite worrying. They were also concerned she hadn't eaten recently and you can see she was visibly lacking in energy and was finding it too tiring to get her breath.

Jer went along in the ambulance with Harriet as I would have been too upset at that point. After being transferred to Bath Hospital as Bristol was full, Harriet was given humidified air and an energy tube was fitted so she could be given regular, but little feeds. Small feeds to prevent her being sick.

Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus called
'Respiratory Syncytial Virus' (CLICK HERE). Something that was confirmed Harriet did have by way of a nasal swab at the hospital. There is no medicine that can kill the virus and the infection can clear up on its own without having to be hospitalised, but at the point the oxygen levels go down to beyond 92%, they will admit them to hospital for treatment.

Thankfully, the staff at the hospital took great care with Harriet and there was always Doctors, consultants and nurses in our room. We were never left alone for more than one hour. The nurses even fed Harriet themselves via the tube every hour whilst they let us sleep in the hospital bed next to her cot.

Harriet's still got a cough and she snores a bit when she sleeps and we also have to keep her warm and indoors until she's better so she doesn't catch any more cold or cough germs.

But phew!!! Am I glad she's back home and better! I've said it before and I'll say it again...why didn't we have a hamster instead???***!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for the detailed post but PLEASE remove the picture of your child with her genitalia on display for the world to see. Although the Internet is wonderful, it can also be abused. Please know better!!!!!!!!