Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)

Respiratory Syncytial Virus, or RSV, is a common cold-like virus that children or adults might become infected with from the months of November through April. While RSV appears as a cold in adults and healthy adolescents, it can be much more serious and sometimes life-threatening in preemies, term-infants, and adolescents with underlying conditions that affect their heart, lungs, or mucous membranes. Working on a general pediatric floor and in a PICU for the last two and a half years has shown me how little the public, especially parents, tend to know about RSV.  Families usually know that RSV can be serious and that it has symptoms like a cold, but they don’t usually know the treatments that are available and comfort measures to use when they go home. In this webliography I have included multiple great websites available to everyone that will inform the reader about what RSV is, signs and symptoms to watch for, signs of worsening respiratory status, treatments a child might receive in or out of the hospital, comfort measures to use, and ways to prevent RSV in your child as well as the spread of RSV to other children. I am trying to educate the general public and parents about RSV with hopes of catching severe cases of RSV earlier so that treatments can be started and so that we might have less fatality associated with this virus.  I am all about saving those precious little lives!!!

I have chosen 6 different websites that are not only trusted sites but that hold information I know to be true. These websites give most of the same education that I do when educating my families at work. I find education to be very important because you can never learn, or know, too much! So, read on, and I hope you find some valuable, useful information for yourself or others!

Medline Plus: A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

This is a credible database that not only tells the causes of RSV, how to prevent the virus, symptoms to watch for, and treatment options but it also provides the reader with associated photos and links to other information. This website helps the reader to understand what symptoms might look or sound like in their child. Medline Plus also lays out what other complications can arise from RSV and links to information on those complications.

Healthline: Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

What a great website! Healthline is a great database for information on many different disease processes, as well as information for healthy daily living and finding a doctor in your area. The link above will take you to a site full of information about the definition/description of RSV, physical examination findings, lab tests, home and hospital care, as well as many other topics full of useful information! Not only does it tell you what to look for in your child, it also tells you demographics, prognosis, key terms (with links), and parental concerns associated with RSV!  I can’t tell you how excited I was to find a website with this much detail. I hope that every parent out there reads this information so that they are prepared and know what to look for or interventions to take when it comes to RSV.

WebMD: Respiratory Syncytial Virus

WebMD is a good website for some basic, but important,  information on RSV. This website puts the information in simpler form so that everyone can understand the disease process as well as it provides links to further your understanding of the topic. The link above will take you to the topic overview about RSV but there are many different pages about RSV that are important here. A few of the pages that I really like are “When to Call a Doctor”, “Exams and Tests”, “Treatment Overview”, and “Medications”. These few pages share some good basic information that I haven’t seen on some of the other sites I have viewed. I would definitely recommend for you to at least look at the few pages I have listed above, especially if you have concerns about your child, or even if you just have questions.

Revolutionhealth: Comfort measures for a child infected with RSV

This website is another source for some basic information on disease processes. The link above will take you to a very useful, but short, website that will provide you with 5 basic measures you can take to comfort your child if he/she is infected with RSV. This website also has other basic, accurate information available about RSV including cause, treatment, and prevention, but I found the information about comfort measures to be the most useful from this site.


Synagis is the only FDA approved medication that has been found to help protect babies’ lungs from a severe case of RSV. This site tells the reader what Synagis is, how often it is given, who should or shouldn’t receive the medication injection, and possible side effects. Please read this information and talk to your doctor about getting this medication for your high-risk babies!

PreemieCare: RSV FAQ’s

This is a fantastic website for parents or families of preemies. Not only does this site give some basic information about RSV to its readers including cause, who is at risk, prevention, and treatment, it also gives some great information about getting Synagis for those high-risk babies out there. They help you find ways to pay for it if your insurance will not and they also give you a phone number to call if you have any questions about the medication or RSV in general. One other thing this website provides is a link to the CDC RSV tracking system so that you can view outbreaks in your region, state, or the entire U.S. This website would also be good to view if you have a preemie and have any other questions. They provide other basic information and do not only include information on RSV.


~ by pedsnurse08 on April 1, 2011.

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