Palivizumab (Synagis), a monoclonal antibody, is a preventive drug given by IM injection once per month to ONLY high-risk infants and children. Typical high-risk infants include those born before 29 weeks gestation who are less than 1 year old at the start of RSV season. It does not treat a child who already has RSV.
Most cases of RSV can be treated at home; however, hospitalization is recommended when an infant cannot maintain adequate hydration or has other complicating illnesses, such as lung or heart disease or prematurity.
Because RSV is spread from exposure to contaminated secretions (spread from hand to eye, nose, or other mucous membranes), frequent and proper hand washing is vital! There is no documentation of airborne transmission.
Humidified oxygen may be administered to maintain an oxygenation saturation (SpO2) above 90%.
Infants with RSV should be placed in a separate room or room with other RSV infants to prevent the spread of infection.
Maintaining adequate fluid intake and nutrition is vital to recovery. IV fluids may be necessary until the acute stage of the disease has ended. Additionally, the use of saline nose drops prior to feeding due to copious nasal secretions may be indicated.
Historically, short-acting beta agonists (SABAs) and other medications (e.g. steroids) have been used as treatment, and some hospitals still prescribe these. However, clinical guidelines do not support this use any longer.
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