Are you having an RSV crisis? - page 2

We've been inundated with little kiddies with RSV pneumonia and have one little gaffer on ECLS because of it... since December 10. Between Friday at midnight and Saturday at noon, we took admissions... Read More

  1. by   AlabamaBelle
    It's a pretty heavy RSV season in NC. Several babies in our PICU have RSV now and the general Peds floor has quite a few.

    In 10 years of working in PICU (either as a secretary or RN), I can't recall having placed an RSV'er on ECMO.

    Really weird in our unit right now - we have 2 kiddos on PD, both with HUS from pneumococcus. One is on 3 pressor, the other is heading in that direction.

    We're a 12 bed unit and have been running non-stop with a full census since just before Christmas. We send 1 child out just to get another 1 or 2 to take the place.

    Just left this afternoon - we filled all 12 beds and have only 1 possible mover - the rest of the kiddies are all ventillated and have no hope of coming off the vent for the next couple of days.

    Jan - loved hearing about BC! Thanks!!

    Cindy
  2. by   AliRae
    Just talked with one of our peds nurses yesterday, after noticing in the computer that PICU was the only unit in the entire children's hospital with open beds (as I knock furiously on my wooden desk here). She said they're totally slammed with RSV kids right now. So yay for our floor doing a great job and keeping them from coming downstairs!

    And as a response to the "we aren't allowed to let kids die until they're decomposing" comment ... dang if it isn't true where I work, too! It kills me every time. Over the summer we had 2 drowning babies side-by-side who we were keeping going for no apparent reason. They actually weren't on too many pressors at one point, and the HNs used to pair them. Holy cow ... after 12 hours of that assignment, the nurse was almost always in tears. I have some major ethical issues with what I do sometimes. Like the agenesis corpus callosum newborn who had infarcted his spinal column and was not functional below his neck (or, I guess, above it, for that matter) ... and they went ahead and did open heart surgery on him to correct ... I can't remember what. But honestly, just because you're a new heart program does NOT mean you should be practicing on poor little ones like that!

    *stepping quietly off my soapbox*
  3. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    I hear you AliRae! Many of my coworkers feel the same way. We seem to have a large difference of opinion from our doctors so often and it makes me angry when I think about how we torture some of our kids long after God should have had them. I often wonder how certain of our docs sleep at night when I've been in the room while they've told a family that the course of treatment they're recommending might keep their child alive for another day or two, but don't tell them that the child isn't going to be aware of much and certainly won't be hugging them or saying "I love you mommy". I can totally understand the parents' desire to have one more day, to have everything that can be done done, but I think they need honest and realist information. I hate that they're offered false hope and that the families aren't told that the child they knew before the illness is gone and never will come back. Not that I would suggest that what happened to us is right either, though. The evening of the day my son had his strokes, the neurologist told me (before he knew who I was) that Adam wasn't going to survive the night, and if he did he would be a vegetable. And right up to the day I took him out of that hospital the doctor refused to accept that his prognosis could be wrong. So part of my brain was prepared for the outcome we have, even though I hoped for better, but I think it could have been handled more sensitively. The other physicians who were invovled in his care were really good at making sure I had accurate and detailed information but were honest, to the point that we'd discussed the end of the road and what we'd do if we got there. They are my example of how to inform families, and I use their example all the time. Adam is not the child who went into that hospital all those years ago, but he is happy and healthy and loved by everyone in his world. When I talk to families about those less-than-perfect outcomes like his, I don't downplay his limitations and how much work it is to care for someone like him, but I give them food for thought about where they want to go in the process. I think they make more informed decisions when they can talk to someone who lives with the consequences of extreme illness so that they can try putting themselves in my place, and imagine how they'd cope, how theri family would be affected and how they want their lives to proceed.

    Your anecdote about the boy with agenesis reminds me of someting I've heard our cardiac surgeon say more than once when confronted with a multi-organ train wreck or neurologically devastated child he's operated on, "But the heart is good!"
  4. by   AliRae
    jan- I'm glad there are nurses like you out there. I often find myself acutely aware of my youth and inexperience at work. Parents ask me if I have kids of my own or look at me with the "You're 23 - how do you have ANY idea what we're going through?" face. I try to pull the "Oh, I have enough kids here at work! *grin*" line, but it doesn't always work. Fact is, I'm young and I don't actually know that much about life. It sounds as though your experiences with your son (Adam, right?) have put you in the unique position to be truly empathetic with your patients' families. I guess I just find myself wondering whether I'll ever be enough of a "grownup" to be the PICU nurse I really want to be.

    And, to keep this post even remotely on topic, current RSV count on the unit is down to 1. But we have 2 or 3 asthmatics. =)
  5. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    AliRae, you're the same age as Adam is.:spin: He's the reason I am where I am and why I chose it. I wouldn't worry too much about being young and childless... you're getting older every day ( ) and some of the most competent and compassionate PICU nurses I know have no children. It isn't a prerequisite for the job!

    There was a report in today's paper that there have been 168 kids with RSV admitted to Capital Health region hospitals so far this season. We only make up about 30% of the province, so those numbers province-wide could be as high as 500!! Who knows how many more there have been who weren't admitted...
    Last edit by NotReady4PrimeTime on Jan 11, '07 : Reason: forgot to say something important
  6. by   km5v6r
    Thankfully we haven't had any RSV kids ...yet. I think they are probably going to the Children's hospital in town. RSV with our transplant kiddo's would be the end. We counted up and since Nov 1st we have lost 15 kids. And we aren't done yet. There are at least 3 more in the unit right now that should be allowed to leave. No one can remember a time that has been this bad. My manager had a counselor from the EAP program come in for a mini-inservice on grief. It was good to talk and realize all of us are feeling the weight right now.
  7. by   AliRae
    Quote from km5v6r
    ..with our transplant kiddo's...
    What kind of transplants do you do?

    I'm saddened to hear that you're all going through such a rough time. For whatever it's worth, you'll be in my prayers.
  8. by   km5v6r
    We do liver, liver/small bowel and kidney transplants. Those along with the Intestinal Rehab Programs kids who have bowel lengthening surgery we stay close to full most of the time.
  9. by   AlabamaBelle
    Our 12 bed unit has become a 14 bed unit. We've doubled up in 2 of our larger rooms - 4 of our RSV'ers. We have 2 children on with HUS - 1 on PD and 1 on manual PD. One of our beautiful angels is the moral dilemna we've been discussing. The treatment is palliative at best - will go home on a vent (fresh trach, gtube) - and the treatment is terribly aggressive. I have been caring for this child on the days I work. Had a meltdown this week when things really weren't going well for the child or family. Knowing the odds are so unfavorable and doing all these things - feeling so inadequate and wishing for that "magic wand". Not feeling adequate or giving good care to either patient on that day. Got so much support from my co-workers, though - they made the difference and so did my NM and the intensivist!!!

    Oh, in addition to the 4 RSVers who are doubled, there is 1 suspected RSVer. The DFAs and viral panels are thus far negative, but really, really acts like an RSVer.

    Thanks for listening

    Cindy
  10. by   AliRae
    Quote from CindyMac58
    ...but really, really acts like an RSVer.
    Oh my, how I love those ones. It's especially fun when you really know the kid. We have a babe who's been with us for 9 months (today!), and when I walked into his room this morning, I could just feel it. (But really, how do you differentiate the tachypnea of a kiddo with pulmonary atresia from the tachypnea of a kiddo with RSV?!) They didn't order an RSV test though ... he's supposed to go home this week, and they figure he'll let us know if he's really sick. Oh well. I documented the colour of the boogies and the fact that they knew, so I suppose that's all I can do ...
  11. by   perfectbluebuildings
    How about pertussis- we had one case of that recently a 2 month old. Well still have- been there about a week and not improving a whole lot yet How often do you all see that in PI- we had one case last winter and thus far one this year.

    Speaking of "the color of boogies" this kid this past week was 12 days old with RSV and right-side pneumonia and had these golden yellow boogers thicker than any I've seen in other kids- about the color of the "accents" on this page LOL.

    Sorry to sidetrack your conversation...
  12. by   AliRae
    Quote from Rayrae
    How about pertussis- we had one case of that recently a 2 month old. Well still have- been there about a week and not improving a whole lot yet How often do you all see that in PI- we had one case last winter and thus far one this year.

    Speaking of "the color of boogies" this kid this past week was 12 days old with RSV and right-side pneumonia and had these golden yellow boogers thicker than any I've seen in other kids- about the color of the "accents" on this page LOL.

    Sorry to sidetrack your conversation...
    Yes yes yes! That was the colour! I just called in today to see how my kiddo was doing, and it turns out he spiked a temp, but hasn't been positive for RSV yet. Little stinker. =)

    We get a confirmed pertussis about once every 6 months, like clockwork. (Granted, I've only been there 15 months, but I remember it from when I was a tech.)

    Also, we have virtually the same handle, which I think is fun! Where does yours come from?
  13. by   NotReady4PrimeTime
    We don't seem to see much pertussis, which is a very good thing. One of the babies we admitted from out-of-province had a cough that sounded very much like pertussis, but I guess she didn't have it because we sure weren't treating her for it. As I mentioned, one of our intensivists is an infectious diseases specialist (which is both a blessing and a curse!!) and he's been on a lot lately so I can't imagine it would have been overlooked in the differential. For the moment our RSV population has diminished, but I learned last night that one of our really sick ones came in with RSV only to be diagnoses with ALL!!! Can you imagine?

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