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What you need to know about our RSV clinics

What you need to know about our RSV clinics

Well, it’s that time of year again.

We’ve written about RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) before and, as we now find ourselves in the midst of prime season for this nasty virus, it’s time for our annual RSV clinics!

To recap: RSV is, in many ways, very similar to a really bad cold, and won’t cause much more trouble than one for most kids. However, some babies are considered “at-risk” for more severe health complications from RSV. While there is no way to prevent RSV, Health Canada provides palivizumab, medicine made up of passive antibodies that will help fight the virus, for these at-risk infants.

What exactly defines an at-risk infant? Here’s some of the criteria according to the Canadian Pediatric Society, the National Advisory Committee on Immunization, and the Ontario RSV Medical Advisory Group:

1. Less than or equal to 32 weeks gestation and less than or equal to 6 months of age at start of season (April birth date).

2. 33-35 weeks gestation, less than or equal to 6 months, and meet specified risks:

a. Birth month Nov, Dec or Jan (Y=25)
b. Infant in daycare, or sibs in daycare/JK/SK (Y=17)
c. More than five individuals in home, including infant (Y=13)
d. SGA ( e. Immediate family member history (without eczema) (Y=12)
f. Male (Y=11)
g. Smokers in house (Y=10)
(Eligible if score between 49 and 100)

3. 33-35 weeks gestation, less than or equal to 6 months, and live in isolated communities

4. Less than 24 months of age if:

a. Down Syndrome with or without hemodynamically significant heart disease
b. BPD if required O2 or med Rx within 6 months prior to RSV season
c. CHD if hemodynamically significant cyanotic or acyanotic, requiring surgery or cardiac medication.

5. Specific Medical Illness – will requires letter from requesting physician AND ID specialist or neonatologist or respirologist.

The purpose of our RSV clinic is to provide palivizumab to qualifying infants whose families have already applied and been approved for the medication. Unlike our Acute Care Clinic, our RSV clinic is only open to the patients we have already contacted. If you feel that your baby fits the criteria as being at-risk, you won’t be able to participate in our clinic on December 15th but you can still fill out an application and we will begin treatment upon approval.

If we’ve already contacted you about attending our RSV clinic, here’s what you can expect:

  • Check in at the front desk the way you normally would.
  • A RSV Coordinating Nurse will see you, possibly with assistance from a pediatric Resident.
  • Dose of the required mediation will be calculated by your baby’s weight and then administered.
  • We are not able to do full check up during your visit to the RSV clinic and it is not a substitute for regular appointment with family doc or pediatrician.
  • You will be given info about RSV when you’re here.
  • The RSV clinic provides the opportunity to meet with other parents you may recognize.
  • Our whole office is dedicated to this clinic on this date – every one here will be here for RSV.
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